Recent Court Documents Reveals Instagram Generates More Ad Revenue than YouTube

By Consultants Review Team Saturday, 06 April 2024

As we previously know, Instagram is a massive app that accounts for a large portion of Meta's entire revenue. However, a recent court document has revealed its exact size, allowing us to know:The picture and video app brought approximately $32.4 billion in income from advertisements in 2021, which accounts for 27% of Meta's total revenue.

More context: Google's YouTube brought in $28.8 billion in ad revenue that year, while Instagram made more money from selling advertising. (After accounting for the money it gets from its music and TV subscription services, MoffettNathanson analysts estimate that YouTube's total revenue for that year was $35.4 billion.)

And keep in mind that Instagram (as well as the majority of other social applications) spends far, far less than YouTube, which forfeits 55% of every dollar it makes in advertising to content creators who post videos to the platform. Most consumers are still expected to provide it with free photographs and videos.

The Instagram income figures are from a document Meta submitted last week, seeking a judge's dismissal of a federal antitrust lawsuit. It's unclear to us if that legal ploy will succeed. However, the docs do a great job of illustrating how quickly Instagram has expanded while being owned by Meta. 

Remember how in 2012, when Instagram was only a few people working as a revenue-free photo-sharing business, Meta, then Facebook, spent $1 billion buy the platform? Adam Mosseri, a former Facebook product executive, is now in charge of it.

According to the filing, "Instagram generated advertising revenues of $11.3 billion in 2018, $17.9 billion in 2019, $22 billion in 2020, $32.4 billion in 2021, and $16.5 billion in the first half of 2022." Quick!

Finally, as we reported last month, experts now project that YouTube's valuation might reach $400 billion. These updated figures imply that Instagram may very well be valued similarly.

One clumsy method to get there would be to suppose that Instagram's rapid growth has persisted and that it currently generates about one-third of Meta's total income. By multiplying that ratio by the company's $1.34 trillion market capitalization as of right now, we arrive at $440 billion. Perhaps something to consider the next time you upload a picture.

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