Facebook led Yahoo, Microsoft, Google and others in display ads, capturing nearly one-quarter of all impressions in the United States as its 500 million users engaged with the social network.
Facebook led all online publishers with nearly one-quarter of all
display impressions, a trend that should amplify fears for Google,
Yahoo and Microsoft that the social network is becoming a digital ad
Display ads include the graphical online ads that dot
Facebook's Web pages, appearing whenever the social network's 500 million-plus
users log on and surf the site.
These users helped generate 297 billion ad impressions,
good for 23.1 percent of the market and dwarfing rivals for the third quarter, according to researcher comScore
Facebook's increased its market share for display ads 13.9
percentage points from 9.2 percent in Q3 2009, easily swiping the mantle from
long-time leader Yahoo.
Yahoo Sites took the distance second spot with 11 percent
on 140 billion impressions. Microsoft
Sites took No. 3 with 64 billion impressions, or 5.0 percent of the market. Google
barely rated, with 2.7 percent of display ad share.
Why the disparity between Facebook and the rest of the
field? Aside from innate ability to keep users socializing on its Website and
sharing info, Facebook has ramped up its online ad efforts under former Google
ad chief David Fischer.
Moreover, Facebook ads sell at a big discount compared display
ads sold on Yahoo, Microsoft and Yahoo.
Evercore Partners analyst Ken Sena who said the CPM (cost per thousand
impressions) for Facebook's U.S. display ads is roughly $1, compared with the
$3 CPM for display ads on Yahoo's Sites in the U.S.
Facebook's lower price point means it must serve more ads
to keep up with revenue earned by Yahoo and the others.
Even so, the news further cements the value of social
networking for Facebook and others of its ilk, such as social game providers Zynga,
Playfish and Playdom. Google, too, sees the value in this, noting that display
ads are operating
at a $2.5 billion run-rate.
Overall, comScore found that Facebook and others
propelled 1.3 trillion display ads to U.S. Internet users during Q3, a 22 percent
increase from a year ago.