Wednesday, May 11 2011 by Mark Richards
Facebook is becoming as important as Google to internet consultants. New figures reveal the social network is increasingly dominating the display ad side of managed emarketing, and will soon outstrip the search engine giant.
Research from Enders Analysis reveals Facebook's growing audience is generating "substantial" display ad revenue, which is increasing. Estimates put the amount at $2 billion (£1.22 billion) in 2010, up 160 per cent year-on-year.
"The social network's growing position as the centre of the internet experience is enabling it to become a platform for other services, such as e-commerce, making it an increasing strategic threat to Google, as well as other players in the digital media," the authors say.
In 2011, display ad revenue is expected to further increase to be worth $3.5 billion (£2.13 billion) to Mark Zuckerberg's empire, the Financial Times reports. At the same time, Google's share is forecast to rise to $2.6 billion (£1.58 billion).
"Facebook is changing the dynamics, bringing new advertisers into the market as Google did in 2002 with search," Ian Maude, internet analyst at Enders, told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, Facebook's increasing dominance of the display ad market has been evidenced by a new report from comScore. It reveals that with nearly 1.11 trillion display ads delivered to US internet users during the first quarter of 2011, Facebook accounted for 346 billion impressions, nearly double the number it delivered in Q1 2010. This represents about a third of all impressions.
Jeff Hackett, comScore executive vice-president, said: "We are now seeing more than one trillion display ads delivered every single quarter and nearly 300 individual advertisers spending at least $1 million [£607,000] a quarter on display."
After Facebook, the top display ad publishers as ranked by comScore were Yahoo!, Microsoft, AOL and Google. These five big players accounted for over half of the entire display market.
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