A convergence of three high-tech trends ' precise ad analytics, programmatic audience-buying tools, and the stickiness of social apps ' means social media is becoming one of the major ad platforms of the future.New data fromBI Intelligencefinds that USsocial-media ad spend will top $8.5 billion this year and reach nearly $14 billion in 2018, up from just $6.1 billion in 2013. Social will grow faster than all other offline ad mediums, andfaster than traditional digital formats, like desktop display ads and search ads.In the report and associated PowerPoint presentation, BI Intelligence looks at all the numbers for this fast-growing ad industry and explores the drivers of social ad adoption.Access The Full Report And Downloads By Signing Up For A Free TrialHere are some of the key takeaways:Social-media advertising spend will grow rapidly through 2018.It's up 40% this year and will top $8.5 billion, growing to nearly $14 billion in 2018, a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18%.Social media ad spend has reached the mobile-tipping point. Spending on mobile social-media ads, includingmobile app-install ads,will surpass non-mobile spend by the end of this year in the US.In 2018, two-thirds of social-media ad spend will go to mobile, creating a $9.1 billion social-mobile market.Mobile app-install ads and programmatic buying are also growth drivers. Analysessuggest that mobile app-install ads could account for anywhere from one-quarter to more than one-half of Facebook's mobile ad revenues.Social programmatic ad platforms are also growth engines.Spendingon FBX, Facebook's programmatic platform, increased by 150% year-over-yearglobally during the second quarter of 2014, based on a sample of advertisers compiled byIgnition One.Prices are increasing as performance and targeting improve, even as ad loads stay steady on the established platforms. Facebook, for example, is not likely to increase the amount of in-feed native ads an average user will see.The market is expanding with the introduction of paid ad units at Pinterest and Instagram.The report is full of files, slides, charts and data that can easily be downloaded and put to use.In full, the report:Provides over 15 charts and datasets on social media ad spend and performance trendsIncludes revenue/spend trends for Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedInTracks trends in price, click-throughs, conversions and paid vs. organic reach statistics (5 charts)Explains why there has been a spike in spending growth on social-mobileSets the context in terms of social media audience trends and user growthLists the news on Instagram and Pinterest's ad effortsAnalyzes the influence of FBX and MoPub on the social ad ecosystemShows how a disproportionate amount of social media ad spend is domestic rather than internationalFor full access receive to all BI Intelligence's analysis, reporting, and downloadable charts and presentations on the digital media industry, sign up for a free trial.Join the conversation about this story Click here to read full news..