Study: As More Users Move Away from Social, Native Ads Offer a Powerful Alternative Experience

For the first time in its 18 year history, Facebook recently reported a decline in its Daily Active Users, with a drop of a million DAUs in Q4 2021, compared to the previous quarter.

This aligns with a trend we’ve been noting for a while now at Outbrain, as people move away from mindless browsing towards a more intentional and purpose filled internet experience. And our global study* with third party vendor Savanta affirms this trend, with several notable data points that reveal changing audience behaviors.

Here’s a roundup of some of the key takeaways discovered in the Outbrain-Savanta study:

21% of global consumers plan to spend less time on social media in the next 6 months. 

Of these, 39% are going offline altogether. Some 33% are working or studying, and 36% are visiting websites with editorial content, such as national and local news sites, and lifestyle sites.

Users place more trust in editorial style sites than social media networks.

75% of consumers trust content and recommendations seen on an editorial environment** vs. 54% who trust content and recommendations on the user-generated content of social media.

What’s more, household decision-makers are significantly more likely to trust the content and recommendations they see in editorial environments than non-decision-makers.

Ads are more trusted in editorial web environments than social media.

User trust extends to advertising too. 68% of consumers trust ads seen on editorial environments** vs 55% for social media.

Native advertising is considered the least intrusive form of advertising.

Social feed ads are considered the most intrusive ad type, followed by display and paid search ads.  

In response to these behavioral changes, marketers must adapt and diversify their marketing channels. 

This should include advertising directly on open-web publishers, where more internet users prefer to spend their time and are receptive to recommendations. 

Outbrain’s real-world results support the study’s assertions. Native campaigns on the Outbrain network outperformed social ads on quality leads, engagement, and cost efficiencies for leading brands:

  • +28% Average Time Spent vs Social (Ferrero Rocher)
  • +180% Leads vs Social (Microsoft)
  • -200% CPC vs Social (Brooklinen)
  • -42% CPL vs Social (Tacotax)  

Ready to diversify beyond social and get results on the open web?

Start your Outbrain campaign today.

* Outbrain Savanta Power of Native Research. Online survey fielded December 2, 2021-January 4, 2022 in Australia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and US. N=9,159

** Note: Average of news sites, lifestyle and culture sites, and special interest or hobby sites

Launch your Campaign!

Create full funnel campaigns that drive real business results.

Start Now