Q2 2021 Paid Social Media Recap

We are halfway through the year and Parallel Path has curated the latest news from Q2 when it comes to all things Paid Social media.

Ad Spend Trends

Merkle reported in their Q2 recap that digital ad spend on Facebook saw a significant increase of over 68%. Impression growth was not reported to see an increase which means there is increased competition in the space and rising CPMs. 

Instagram spend slowed year over year for Q2 but also saw a decrease in CPMs. This platform can be an opportunity for brands to take advantage of if Facebook remains saturated with competition. 

Pinterest and Snapchat both saw significant increases in investment from advertisers from Q1 to Q2. TikTok came in at third place for the first time bumping LinkedIn down to fourth place in terms of ad investments.

Most Popular Social Apps Q2 2021

Data shows that TikTok was the top mobile app for global downloads again in Q2 2021 – followed by YouTube and Facebook. Data is also showing that our screen time (on mobile devices) is continuing to grow across the globe. Recent reports show that app usage has increased to 4.2 hours daily.


Facebook and Messenger announced plans in Q2 for testing Live Audio Rooms

Facebook explained that Live Audio Rooms will enable users to discover, listen in on and join live conversations with public figures, experts, and others about topics they are interested in. Public figures can invite friends, followers, verified public figures, or any listeners in the room to be a speaker.  The host can invite speakers in advance or during the conversation. There can be up to 50 speakers, and there’s no limit to the number of listeners. There currently aren’t any advertising opportunities within this new feature, but we’ll be keeping a close eye on how this may change in the future. 


The Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, announced via his personal Instagram and Twitter accounts that Instagram is “no longer a photo-sharing app.” He explained that after seeing the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube, Instagram wants to switch gears and focus on four new priorities: creators, video, shopping, and messaging. 

He also described some upcoming changes and experiments that Instagram will be doing, including showing users recommendations for topics they’re not following and making video more immersive by offering a full-screen experience. This means that having a solid video strategy will be very important moving forward in the Instagram space.


TikTok is taking on YouTube with new 3-minute videos. Three-minute videos have been in testing since December and were only available to limited select users but they will now be rolling out to everyone on TikTok. While this does open up longer-form video for advertising, we advise using this feature very sparingly and only when you can create truly native feeling content with high entertainment value. 


Twitter started rolling out subscription service Twitter Blue in Australia and Canada in June. 

A Twitter Blue subscription includes the following: 

  • Bookmarking folders (for saving content)
  • Preview and edit features for tweets 
  • Reader mode for tweets with long threads 
  • Access to customer support
  • Customizable app icons 

These are features that have been requested from Twitter’s audience base and the monthly price is $3.49 CAD or $4.49 AUD.  They will be building out more features as they go through testing.  This is an ad-supported feature and will continue to monitor as this rolls out to additional locations. 

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