LinkedIn seeing ad prices boom as Gen Z flocks to the platform

2023 was an interesting year for social media, in no small part due to the impact Elon Musk has been having on X (formerly Twitter). At a certain point, major brands, including Airbnb, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft, all halted ads on the platform after the controversial executive seemingly endorsed antisemitic conspiracy theories. Then, at the advertising-focused DealBook Summit Musk brashly said to advertisers who had pulled out, “Go f*** yourself.” It’s not exactly the kind of behavior that will help a platform grow – with users or advertisers.

At the same, a number of consumers who became tired of the circus environment surrounding X, looked to get their social media fix from other platforms, including TikTok, Threads, BlueSky, and LinkedIn. The latter, which passed the 1 billion member mark in November 2023, suddenly found itself as a home to many more personal posts. For years, LinkedIn had been viewed as the sole domain of professional networking and job hunting, and yet, as users moved away from X, LinkedIn became another outlet for detailing relationship challenges, health issues, and parenting milestones, the Washington Post notes.

Gen Z has played an active role in the growth of LinkedIn, according to Interpret data and independent reports. As Fast Company author AJ Eckstein wrote, many Gen Z members have been flocking to LinkedIn, especially as they enter the workforce.

“I’m a member of Gen Z myself. As a recent college graduate looking for a job, I scoured the web (including Twitter) for professional guidance but was dismayed by the sensationalized career advice I found,” said Eckstein. “Then, I found a community on LinkedIn and launched The Final Round, a podcast that helps job seekers advance past ‘the final round’ interview. Over the past year, I have interviewed dozens of recruiters from leading companies like McKinsey & Company, Goldman Sachs, and Google and I have connected with other young workers who are turning away from Twitter towards LinkedIn, TikTok, and even newsletters.”

Interpret’s New Media Measure® also reveals that, specifically among Gen Z, LinkedIn usage had climbed throughout 2023 from single-digit percentage usage to 10% by Q3 and beyond. Simultaneously, X/Twitter usage among young consumers continued to drop, from 30% down to 26% in late 2023. It’s worth noting that during this same period, neither Gen X nor Millennials demonstrated any LinkedIn usage growth, while Boomers did climb slightly from 14% to 17%.

All the extra attention LinkedIn has been receiving has been nothing but a boon for its advertising business. With many big brands reallocating their ad spending from X to other platforms, including LinkedIn, the professional network has increased the cost of its ad placements by as much as 30% over the past year, according to an executive speaking with the Financial Times. Moreover, marketers have indicated that some LinkedIn campaigns command a price as high as $300 per 1,000 impressions (far above the $10 to $15 it would cost on Meta).