As this year comes to a close, we're looking toward the future in anticipation of all the exciting things this new year will bring us. At the same time, we're reflecting back on all of the things years-gone-by have brought us.
Naturally, social advertising is at the top of the list of things we've paid attention to in recent years. According to HubSpot.com, social advertising budgets have risen from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. It's fair to say, that's a pretty incredible increase and it doesn't look like social advertising is poised to slow down anytime soon!
This leads us to wonder -- where exactly did social advertising begin?
In an effort to understand this epic advertising journey, we've compiled a brief history of the way cyber socializing has impacted marketers' bottom lines.
In the beginning
Around 13 years ago, two sites were born, each of which would later become social media and advertising giants in their own rights. In 2003, LinkedIn made its way onto the scene, followed a year later by the infamous Facebook. Facebook managed to reach 1 million followers in its first year, setting it up for a cyber success unlike anything the world had ever seen.
Then came the ads
It didn't take Zuckerberg and his merry band of brilliant marketers long to figure out that where there are followers, advertising dollars are sure to come. In 2005, Facebook launched its first ad.
In that same year, LinkedIn reached its million-user mark, keeping it on track as one of the foremost social media sites in cyberspace.
The dawn of the ad revenue dollar
No one quite knew if online ad sales could really take off, but in 2006, just two years after the site was founded, Facebook reached $50 million in ad revenue and was off to the races.
In this same year, LinkedIn launched its first ad and that little blue bird of Twitter also made its first appearance.
Along came hashtags and ad platforms
As Facebook worked to develop self-service ad platforms and pages that would facilitate further revenue generation for businesses and the social media site alike, Twitter became home of the hashtag. The latter of which would soon become an essential part of the social media marketing and advertising mix.
Social media becomes more expressive
Between 2008 and 2011, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat hit the scene, bringing images to a world once dominated by word.
By 2015, all of the aforementioned social media platforms had reached their 1 million subscriber mark.
By 2016, Facebook had claimed 70% of the social advertising market, boasting $25 billion in ad revenue shortly after Twitter hit its $1 billion mark and other competitors were climbing into the millions.