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11 Must-See Digital Marketing Stats From the Past Week

It's all about ad blockers and Instagram's growth nowadays

Instagram's business is exploding, but ad blockers could hurt it. Illustration: Dianna McDougall

Autumn is a great season for digital marketing data, as statisticians hope to make sense of an increasingly fragmented media marketplace for brands that are looking to grab as many holidays sales in the coming weeks as possible. Here are 11 of such stats that caught our eye last week, including a timely number about ad blockers and a bevy of new data around Instagram.

1. Ad blockers have the digital marketing industry's attention like no other subject right now. A joint study by Fractl and Moz last week said that 63 percent of millennials use ad blockers, which is a number that's greatly higher than GlobalWebIndex's recent conclusion that 34 percent of Gen Y consumers were employing ad blockers. From the July survey, Fractl and Moz also found that only 6.5 percent of consumers think mobile ads are highly relevant.

2. Last week, eMarketer forecasted that Facebook and Instagram will control nearly 65 percent—the equivalent of roughly $16.3 billion—of brands' social-media budgets this year. Globally, Facebook will make nearly $12.80 in ad revenue off of each user this year and $48.76 in ad revenue off of individual U.S. users, eMarketer said.

3. Instagram will bring in $600 million this year, per eMarketer, or about 5 percent of Facebook's total ad revenue. By 2016, the photos-and-videos app will generate about $1.5 billion in ad revenue, a 149 percent year-over-year jump.

4. Social ad spending will hit $25.1 billion in 2015, up from a $23.7 billion projection in April, according to the same eMarketer study. 

5. Since February, Facebook has seen a 25 percent growth in ad buyers, bringing its total to 2.5 million advertisers regularly spending money on the platform. 

6. It has become clear that Instagram is now a massive marketing and cultural force. The Facebook-owned platform revealed that it now has 400 million monthly users, up 100 million since the beginning of this year. And those users, many of who are millennials, post 80 million photos to the social platform every day.

7. And here's more on Instagram: a study by Mavrck—which analyzed 1.3 million posts on the social app—found that marketers might get greater engagement between 6 a.m. and 12 p.m. In a nutshell, here's why: While posting volume is relatively low during those morning hours, users are still peeking at their feeds regularly on their smartphones. Therefore, they represent a sizable audience during a time when there's less competition for attention. For instance, less than 2 percent of Instagram posts happen between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., per Mavrck.

8. Pope Francis' U.S. visit generated huge online buzz last week—1.8 million tweets in 24 hours—while one company in particular benefited more than any other, according to Amobee Brand Intelligence. The pontiff rode in a Fiat as his Popemobile, and Amobee reported that 22 percent of all digital content engagement late last week around the brand was related to the pope

9. Baked-goods chain Cinnabon joined Snapchat last week, and, within a couple of days, it gained 2,000 followers on the social-mobile app. The brand did so without buying an ad on the platform, hiring instead two popular Snapchat creators—Danny Berk and Evan Garber—to take over its account and then ask fans to submit pictures of sweets. 

10. Three popular social personalities—Gary Rojas, Esa Fung and Scotty Sire—tested the livestreaming app Stre.am this past weekend. But Nick Cicero, CEO of Delmondo, which works with those influencers on social channels, dropped this Snapchat-based nugget while speaking with Adweek: "[Rojas, Fung and Sire] are getting 300,000 to 400,000 views per Snapchat Story."

11. Liaison, a digital admissions management provider for higher-education institutions, said its research shows that students who are contacted by both email and direct mail are four times more likely to apply than those who are contacted only via email

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