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Sensor Tower Social Media Scoop September 2023

Meta's Facebook Blue and Instagram experienced strong year-over-year growth in daily active users (DAUs) and total hours, driven by the popularity of Reels. However, Twitter (X) saw significant declines in both YoY DAU growth (-9%) and total hours (-13%) due to challenges in the post-acquisition era. Threads also saw a decline in DAUs and total hours, despite the introduction of new features. The desktop launch of Threads had mixed results, with web user engagement not declining as quickly as mobile, but still lower than X and Instagram. Shopping and CPG advertisers accounted for three-fourths of all US ad spend on Pinterest.

Sensor Tower Social Media Scoop

Key Takeaways:

  • Meta’s Facebook and Instagram continued to exhibit best-in-class growth in user engagement on the back of Reels: Facebook Blue Aug’23 total hours grew 10% YoY (1.31bn hours/day) while Instagram increased 31% (1.15bn hours/day)

  • Per ST data, Snapchat again posted the greatest user growth in Aug’23 with worldwide DAUs increasing 14% YoY, followed by Instagram (+10%), TikTok (+6%), and Facebook Blue (+2%)

    • X (formerly Twitter) was the sole social media platform to exhibit a significant decline in YoY user growth, down 9% YoY in Aug’23 as it grappled with user dissatisfaction over the rebranding and flagrant content in the post-acquisition era. X also saw a material decline in total hours engaged with the metric falling 13% YoY in Aug’23

  • Per ST’s proprietary device panel, Threads’ desktop launch has led to mixed results. Web user time spent and sessions didn’t decline as quickly as its mobile counterpart post-launch, but overall user engagement remains far below that of competitors. Average time spent and sessions on twitter.com across the last 30 days was nearly 12x and 3x that of threads.net, respectively, while average time spent and sessions on instagram.com across the last 30 days was roughly 7x and 3x that of threads.net

  • An early look at the Pathmatics by ST release of Pinterest (slated for Sep 30) as an advertising platform reveals that the Shopping and CPG categories made up more than three fourths of all US ad spend on Pinterest in Aug’23 with the largest individual advertisers being retailers such as Amazon (#1), Target (#2), and Walmart (#3)

    • Target dedicated the highest % of its US ad spend on social media towards Pinterest (34%) vs Amazon (18%) and Walmart (16%) in Aug’23. ST Consumer Intel data shows that the average US Pinterest user spent 7% more time on the Target app than the average US Target user spent on the Target app, indicating Target’s outsized dedication to Pinterest advertising may have led to greater Pinterest user engagement (and presumably shopping) on the Target app

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