Stamford, Conn.—Revenue generated by social networks worldwide will grow by 43.1% this year to $16.9 billion, up from $11.8 billion in 2011, according to market research company Gartner Inc.
According to Gartner's “Forecast: Social Media Revenue, Worldwide, 2011-2016," social media revenue will reach $34.0 million by 2016, with advertising and social gaming accounting for about 90.0% of the total. Gaming revenue, which more than doubled from 2010 to 2011, is expected to hit $6.2 billion this year.
Even as sales grow at a fast pace, Gartner said the base of social subscribers, currently at about 1 billion globally, will increase much more slowly. However, the company said social's potential for revenue growth "is still in its early stages."