Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all phone applications that are the social media powerhouses in the United States. With almost 81% of the nation having at least one form of social media and 98% being connected to wifi, these applications are more accessible than ever. What started as a way to connect people, now has transitioned into an aggravating game for users between social media platforms and advertisers. Recently, ads have started to take on a greater role in all of the big name apps. There are now advertisements between stories on snapchat, advertisements that are disguised as posts on instagram and paid marketing on Youtube and Twitter. The advertisements are a smart way to make money for companies, but can become a hindrance on the enjoyment of these platforms by the general public.
When scrolling through Snapchat stories, the user generally is not looking for anything other than becoming informed on what friends are up to. However, when a movie advertisement pops up, it can form one of two reactions. Either the user will become interested in the said advertisement and then in return, the movie will receive a larger profit when it is released or the user will simply click past and forget it ever even was on the screen. Ignoring the latter of the two reactions, advertising on social media platforms is actually a smart move. With over 600 million Instagram users, billions of Youtubers and 300 million Snapchat users, the companies can reach a good population of people. Even if only a small percentage of users actually become interested in the advertised product, that still is a profit they otherwise would not of been able to earn.
From 2014 to 2017, it is estimated that the advertising revenue on social media platforms has increased by 23.1 billion dollars. This positive relationship between the apps and the advertisers may actually keep some apps able to continue to cater to their many users. The more users that start using an app, the higher the demand is for applications to continue updating and improving. The advertisers must pay to have their products featured on the application which can help fund the cost of keeping the company from sinking as well as help make an overall profit. This advertising then will bring the possibility of new consumers and, in turn, help make the business make a profit as well. This is a mutually beneficial relationship, that really only can be a negative for the consumers themselves as a third party.
This benefit, though, prompts companies to make internet even more accessible around the world. Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, is trying to make internet more accessible in parts of the world where internet connectivity rates are relatively low. In fact, only about 2.8 billion people out of 7.2 billion people in the world have internet access. He plans to implement balloons and drones that will bring free or extremely cheap wifi to the less technically advanced countries. This would help people who never had the option to be online and also encourage technological innovation. On top of this, however, advertisements would be able to become even more widespread than they currently are.
I agree that advertisements are annoying when I am just trying to catch up on what my friends are doing. Yet, those couple seconds of my time used to watch that ad are indirectly helping people around the world gain internet access and have a better quality of life.
Evans, Chris. “98 Percent of Americans Are Connected to High-Speed Wireless Internet.” National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, 25 Mar. 2015, obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/blog/2015/03/23/98-americans-are-connected-high-speed-wireless-internet.
Silva, Joao Fernandes. “The Economics of Social Media.” The Market Mogul, 23 Apr. 2017, themarketmogul.com/social-media-economics/.
“U.S. Population with a Social Media Profile 2017.” Statista, 2018, www.statista.com/statistics/273476/percentage-of-us-population-with-a-social-network-profile/.
Video link to “Social Media Advertising” on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HC-tgFdIcB0