Instagram Makes More From Ads Than YouTube

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Legal papers filed by Meta on April 5 have shed light on just how much advertising revenue Instagram has brought in over the last few years — and it may be a lot more than you think.

In 2021 alone, for instance, Instagram brought in $32.4 billion. This is comparatively more than YouTube, which raked in $28.8 billion in the same year. 

But why is the photo platform inching past the long-running video-sharing site? Business Insider suggests that it’s down to how much these respective platforms give to creators. 

According to the outlet, YouTube is pretty generous in how it divides revenue from advertisements on creators’ videos. For every dollar of revenue a long-form video makes, YouTube gives 55% of that back to the creators. For YouTube Shorts, 45% of revenue goes to creators.  

Business Insider also said that when it comes to ad sales, Instagram gives a lot less. Creators only earn a share of Instagram’s ad revenue through vague cash bonuses and officially sponsored posts. Creators also have to make at least $100 before they can withdraw funds.

But it’s worth noting that this gap in revenue between Instagram and YouTube isn’t new. In fact, there’s evidence to suggest that the gap goes as far back as 2019. In the court filing, Meta reported that Instagram amassed $17.9 billion in revenue in 2019, while, in its own annual report, YouTube reported making $15.1 billion.

But according to Bloomberg, the most surprising thing is that these figures show that Meta’s Instagram advertising revenue has jumped from 26% in 2020 to nearly 30% in the first six months alone.

So, while it might be less cutting-edge than TikTok, Instagram as a creator tool shouldn’t be underestimated.

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