How smaller social media networks are competing with the duopoly

Google and Facebook are known as ‘the duopoly’ in the digital marketing world. Together, the companies absorb more than half of all digital advertising dollars.

This scenario is slowly changing, however, thanks in part to the viable paid advertising programs being offered by smaller social media networks. Today, we’ll look at recent advertising announcements from LinkedIn, Twitter, and (Facebook-owned) Instagram.


Last month, LinkedIn announced the addition of Sponsored Content carousels to its roster of advertising products. The ads will include up to 10 customizable, swipeable cards which LinkedIn says will “add texture” to brands’ campaigns. Users can flip through the visuals, and advertisers will receive standard measurement metrics like impressions, clicks, click-through-rates, and leads generated.

Prior to the public launch, LinkedIn offered carousel ad access to 300 select advertisers, 75 per cent of whom reported improved click-through-rates.


In-stream video ads are now available to advertisers in Canada and 11 other global markets, Twitter announced last week. Originally launched for a small list of clients in April 2017, the ad format made an impression on users. According to Marketing Land, American Twitter users who saw in-stream video ads were 70 per cent more likely to recall the ad and 28 per cent more likely to be aware of the advertising brand than those who did not.

Expect more video advertising in Twitter’s future, and in digital marketing in general: this April, the company announced that more than half of the $575-million it generated in Q1 revenues came through video ads.


Instagram may be owned by Facebook, but its audience and advertising program are unique. Last month, the photo- and video-sharing network announced a new feature to facilitate ecommerce through Instagram Stories.

The product, which Instagram announced will be globally available by Christmas, allows online advertisers to add a shopping bag icon to their Stories. Users can tap the button to display details about featured products and access links to make purchases.

As a Premier Google Partner digital marketing agency with access to valuable insights on Google’s preferred practices, GrowthEngine Media can ensure your company’s ads are seen by the customers that matter. Our experienced team can help you assemble a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that touches all corners of the web, from search engines to social media.


Image source: