Get set for a 43.1 percent jump in year-over-year social media revenue, according to Gartner. The research firm forecasts the sector will reach $16.9 billion in 2012, up from 2011’s $11.8 billion.

Advertising accounts for a large number of those dollars and is expected to total $8.8 billion in 2012.

Social gaming is another element worth a separate look. Revenue from subscriptions is expected to total $278 million this year, boosting social gaming revenue to $6.2 billion in 2012.

The adoption rate of social media is starting to slow down, now that it’s no longer such a cutting-edge field, but it will continue to increase at a less spectacular pace than previously. Tapping those users for businesses is where the growth will occur. “Although the number of social media users is large, and in some cases increasingly mature in their usage patterns, the market is still in its early stages from a revenue perspective,” said Neha Gupta, senior research analyst at Gartner.

Gartner expects to see new forms of social media, especially activities related to media and entertainment, as the competition for consumers’ time and attention replaces a reliance on expanding sheer numbers.

Related links:

Gartner – Forecast: Social Media Revenue, Worldwide, 2011-2016

Gartner – media summary

Silicon Republic – Global social media revenue to hit US$16.9bn in 2012 – the dawn of social commerce

Vator News – Social media revenue to reach $16.9B this year

TechCrunch – Social Media Revenues To Reach $16.9B In 2012; Ads Remain Leading Driver At $8.8B, Predicts Gartner

The Next Web – Revenue from social networks to top $16.9bn in 2012, advertising alone worth $8.8bn: Report

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