Instagram has been outselling YouTube for years

While YouTube has always been ahead of Instagram, the photo and video app from the meta, in terms of usage time and viewership, Instagram is bigger on one (very important) point: namely sales. Until now, just how many billions of dollars the Meta/Facebook affiliate rakes in has always been a big mystery, but new documents from the US Competition Commission FTC now show just how much.

That is, USD 32.4 billion in 2021. That's decent growth, too, as $22 and $17.9 billion in 2020 and 2019, respectively. The documents also show that Instagram's share of Meta's total ad revenue grew from 26 to 30 percent from 2020 to 2022. This makes the photography app that Mark Zuckerberg bought for a billion dollars in 2012, certainly one of the most lucrative acquisitions of all time, and gives Facebook/Meta an incredible niche in the mobile world.

Interestingly, Instagram has been generating more ad revenue than YouTube for years. The Google subsidiary is expected to generate about $28.8 billion in 2021, $19.7 billion in 2020 and $15.1 billion in 2019. This means that Instagram has been bigger than YouTube in terms of sales since 2019, which is four years. There are two factors: YouTube shares ad revenue with content producers or video producers and gives them 55 percent of ad sales – on Instagram, however, this is much less. This means that Instagram is a subsidiary that has a significantly larger share of the group's overall results.

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YouTube is very broad with subscriptions

YouTube, on the other hand, not only has ad revenue, but also has more subscribers to the premium subscription, and is already selling paid movies in streams through the platform; YouTube Music is available. Overall, the subscription business is becoming increasingly important to Google and has already generated $15 billion for the internet giant by 2023. On Meta and its subsidiary Instagram, almost everything revolves around advertising; Payment features are less mentioned. This means that Google is positioned more broadly.

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Meta Instagram released the numbers because it wants to avoid an antitrust lawsuit from the FTC. It also addresses the question of whether the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp restricted competition in the social media market to the detriment of American consumers. Of course, Meta is trying to avoid antitrust litigation. In a worst-case scenario, Meta could be forced to sell Instagram. With over 30 billion dollars in annual turnover, Instagram alone is a heavyweight.

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