Home / News / Culture Watch / Social media made billions in advertising targeting kids
social advertising

Social media made billions in advertising targeting kids

Social media conglomerates earned nearly $11 billion from advertising targeting children.

Of that, almost $2 billion in ad revenue came from users under the age of 12. YouTube earned the most ad profit ($959.1 million), followed by Instagram ($801.1 million), and Facebook ($137.2 million).

The study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that Snapchat (41 percent) earned the highest share of overall 2022 ad revenue from users aged under 18, followed by TikTok (35 percent), YouTube (27 percent), and Instagram (16 percent).

“Although social media platforms may claim that they can self-regulate their practices to reduce the harms to young people, they have yet to do so, and our study suggests they have overwhelming financial incentives to continue to delay taking meaningful steps to protect children,” Bryn Austin, senior author and a professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said in a press release.

READ: How to protect kids on social media

The researchers used population data from the U.S. Census and survey data from Common Sense Media and Pew Research from 2021 and 2022 to estimate the number of children on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and YouTube.

As for which service is most popular with those under 18, YouTube was number one with 90% of teens using it, followed by TikTok (63 percent), Snapchat (60 percent), and Instagram (59 percent).

U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy previously issued an advisory saying that children and adolescents are “commonly exposed to extreme, inappropriate, and harmful content” on social media.

Those who spend more than three hours a day on social media “face double the risk of poor mental health including experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety,” Mr. Murthy stated.

At a Congressional hearing in November, a Facebook whistleblower stated that their data revealed Instagram users under 13 regularly get unwanted sexual advances on the platform

Arturo Béjar, a former Facebook engineering director,  said META named the study BEEF — short for “Bad Emotional Experience Feedback — a recurring survey of 238,00 users’ experiences in the previous week.

The Wall Street Journal first reported Béjar’s allegations.

–Metro Voice and wire services

Leave a Reply