It’s high time we dig into some stats. This week’s roundup includes news about search, social media, celebrity campaigns, and everyone’s favourite (or not) topic: Facebook.

Be sure to check out the Internet Statistics Compendium too, it’s packed full of more info.

Facebook ad spend grows despite recent controversy

New data from 4C has revealed that Facebook saw a marked increase in ad spend this Q1, despite the recent Cambridge Analytics scandal. 

Following the news in March, Facebook ad spend increased 62% year-on-year.

The travel and legal/financial verticals saw the greatest quarter-over-quarter increases of 129% and 32%, respectively. Meanwhile, Facebook continues to deliver ROI for advertisers, with an 18% quarterly decrease in cost per thousand impressions (CPM).

Elsewhere, Snapchat saw a whopping 234% year-on-year increase in ad spend in the first quarter of 2018, largely due to its re-designed Discover page presenting even more opportunities for sponsored content.

More on Facebook:

71% of people think ads are becoming more intrusive

A recent survey by Kantar Millward Brown, reported by eMarketer, has found that the majority of people think ads are far more intrusive than they were three years ago. 71% of survey respondents uphold this opinion, with 74% also suggesting that they’re seeing more ads overall.

Meanwhile, 79% of people say that adverts appear in more places, making it impossible to avoid advertising while online. 

Despite this, opinion towards ads isn’t all bad – 41% say that ads tell better stories than they used to, while 47% agree that ads fit together better across different formats. 

Naturally, this type of survey is not good news for advertisers, especially alongside the prediction (according to eMarketer) that three in 10 US internet users will use an an ad blocker this year.

intrusive ads 71% consumers think so

Now read:

Text messaging declines YoY in the UK as chat apps take precedent

New data from ReportLinker has revealed the changing habits of global mobile users. Overall, it suggests that people are paying less as we move towards free chat apps rather than traditional text messaging.

In the UK, the average monthly household expenditure on mobile smartphone service has decreased nearly 3% this year, and is predicted to keep on getting lower to 2020. Meanwhile, text messaging has also declined as users make greater use of chat apps like WhatsApp.

ReportLinker also suggests that traditional landlines could soon be extinct. In Australia in particular, this prediction could come true in just a couple of years. The number of people who will have a smartphone but no fixed telephone line is estimated to be well over 8.5 million by 2021. By that time, the number of smartphone owners in Australia is anticipated to be over 20 million, up from over 15 million in 2017. 

Trustworthiness is the most impactful characteristic of celebrity endorsers

A recent study published by JAR suggests that trustworthiness is the most important trait of celebrity endorsers, ranked more effective for boosting brand credibility over other factors like expertise or attractiveness.

The study in question examined the impact of celebrity endorsers’ source characteristics - including trustworthiness, expertise, and attractiveness - on consumers’ brand attitude, brand credibility, and purchase intention. Overall, it found that trustworthiness was related to consumers’ positive associations with a brand (an airline, in the case of this study).

This means marketers must demonstrate greater caution when partnering with celebrities, as the research also suggests that a lack of trustworthiness can be hugely detrimental to a brand’s reputation.

More on celebrity campaigns:

Travel industry sees 13% increase in search interest

New research from Hitwise suggests UK holidaymakers are showing renewed enthusiasm when it comes to travel. 

From the analysis of the online behaviour of three million Brits, Hitwise found a 13% increase in searches related to the travel industry in the first two months of this year. In terms of specific brands, Travelodge saw a 36% increase in searches year-on-year, perhaps highlighting the positive impact of its new initiatives like SuperRoom.

Elsewhere, the research also suggests an increased interest in luxury travel. There was a 16% rise in traffic to luxury operators and cruise operators in the first two months of 2018, while luxury travel provider Kuoni also reports that store appointments were up 171% during this time.

More on travel:

Parents are the biggest adopters of voice-assisted devices

Publicis Media has undertaken research on smart speaker usage, involving the study of 70 voice assistant users in the US and UK.

Overall, it found that parents and families are the keenest early adopters of smart speakers, largely due to the technology’s ability to streamline and enhance daily routines. 

Smart speakers also enable parents to help children learn, with the tech allowing users to easily search for queries (without disrupting their current activity).

Despite this uptake, however, the research also revealed that parents aren’t too keen on changing how they use voice technology. The majority say they’re uninterested in discovering capabilities that they don’t already use, while they’re also reluctant to share personal information in exchange for deeper personalisation. 

More on voice tech:

Paralympics reaches 251 million people on social media

According to new data from IPC, the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games reached more people than Sochi 2014 and London 2012 Paralympics combined.

During a 10 day period, IPC’s digital media channels reached 251 million people across multiple platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Weibo - more than Sochi 2014 (which reached 66m) and London 2012 (which reached 94m). It also generated 17.4m video views - three times Sochi and London combined - and 650k engagements, up 67% on Sochi 2014.

This looks to be due to IPC’s innovative use of technology and video, with social media teams posting real-time highlights of every race, match, and ceremony on YouTube.

For more on Social Media, subscribers can check out our Best Practice Guide.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 13 April, 2018 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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