Paid media spend on social up by 65 percent, Instagram leads growth: Report

Lucy Handley, special to CNBC
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Brands spent 65 percent more on advertising on Facebook, , Instagram and Pinterest in 2016 than in 2015, according to a new report, with spend on Instagram showing the highest levels of growth.

The analysis by media technology company 4C looked at $150 million in media spend across 900 brands that manage their social activity on the five platforms through 4C's Social Ads product.

"The State of Social Advertising" study reveals that advertisers spent 138 percent more on paid-for posts on Instagram, a platform which saw 100 million extra members join in the six months to December 2016, growing its total membership to 600 million people.

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-owned Instagram launched various new features last year, which have encouraged more people to join. Stories, for example, was launched in August 2016 and appears at the top of the user's feed. It lets people and brands post short photo or video stories that disappear after 24 hours.

As well as posting their own content, brands will now have the option to advertise in Stories, Instagram's vice president of business James Quarles told CNBC Wednesday, using five-second photos or 15-second video clips that will automatically play with sound.

Brands in the home and garden, and services sectors grew their spend on the platform the most, between the third and fourth quarters of 2016, 4C's report states.

LinkedIn saw the second-highest growth in ad spend, with figures up 130 percent between Q4 2015 and 2016. Pinterest followed, with 109 percent growth year over year, and the consumer packaged goods and retail sectors were among the fastest-growing.

Facebook advertising via 4C's platform saw growth of 74 percent between 2015 and 2016, contributing to its $6.24 billion in ad revenue last year, while Twitter saw 24 percent growth. Twitter's chief technology officer Adam Messinger is to leave the company, as well as Josh McFarland, vice president of product, they announced separately in December 2016.

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