Social media stocks tumble as Twitter, Snap warn of disastrous ad spend, Marketing & Advertising News, AND BrandEquity

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Shares of social media companies fell sharply on Friday after Twitter Inc and the owner of Snapchat reported that advertisers had tightened their purse strings in response to the darkening economic outlook.

Pinterest Inc fell 11.3%, Meta Platforms Inc, owner of Facebook, fell 5.6%, Alphabet Inc, owner of Google, which also sells online advertisements, fell 3.3%.

At current prices, Pinterest, Meta, Twitter, Alphabet and Snap were collectively expected to lose approximately $42 billion in market value.

Twitter also blamed its ongoing battle to close its $44 billion acquisition by Elon Musk for the surprise drop in quarterly revenue. Shares of the microblogging site fell 0.1% in choppy trading.

Advertisers cut spending amid rising interest rates and soaring inflation, with some struggling with labor shortages and supply chain disruptions , Snap Inc said Thursday.

“If you want proof that companies are nervous about the economic outlook, just watch how media platforms and marketing agencies lament a tougher advertising market,” said Russ Mould, chief investment officer of AJ Bell.

Investors are bracing for the slowest global revenue growth in the social media industry’s history as Apple Inc’s privacy concerns further alter the cloud outlook.

Shares of Snap Inc fell 36.4% and were the most traded on U.S. exchanges as the company said it was looking for new sources of revenue to expand.

“Unfortunately for Snap and the digital advertising industry, we believe there are signs of further reductions in ad spend,” RBC Capital Markets said in a note.

Attention now turns to quarterly reports from mega-cap companies Meta and Alphabet next week. Some analysts believe the drop in their stock price reflects what will likely be a subdued report.

“While more revenue cuts for advertising actions are likely, we believe Alphabet has greater relative revenue stability given the breadth of advertisers, greater spending flexibility than most peers,” said analysts at Bank of American Global Research.

The grim expectations come after an explosion in 2021, when US social media ad sales rose 36% to $58 billion as brands ramped up marketing budgets to recover from the pandemic and reach online customers.

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