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Online Ad Spend on Social Networking Sites On the Rise

September 28, 2009

According to the latest report from market researcher the Nielsen Company, advertisers have more than doubled the amount of money they have spent on social networking and blogging sites since last year.

At the same time, Americans have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend at social networking and blogging sites from a year ago. In August 2009, they have been devoting 17 percent of all their Internet time to social networks, up from 6 percent a year earlier.

“This growth suggests a wholesale change in the way the Internet is used,” said Jon Gibs, vice president, media and agency insights, Nielsen’s online division. “While video and text content remain central to the Web experience – the desire of online consumers to connect, communicate and share is increasingly driving the medium’s growth.”

Ad spending on social networking and blogging sites grew 119 percent, from an estimated $49 million in August 2008 to $108 million last month. Thus, social networking sites now account for 15 percent of all online ad spending.

Gibs also noted that in the past, advertisers had significant concerns about social media advertising but this considerable surge in social networking ad spending indicates that many of them have overcome their worries. Apparently, advertisers are increasingly seeing that social giants like Facebook and MySpace can offer compelling opportunities for them to spread their messages and engage in an ongoing dialog with their target market.

Facebook was the most preferable destination for advertisers on the social web. In August 2009, Facebook was the No. 1 social networking site advertised on by 10 of the 13 industries when ranked by display ad impressions, while their main rival, the social hub MySpace led in the other three industries.

In August 2009, all industries increased online ad spend on social networking sites. The entertainment industry led the chart increasing ad spending by 812 percent. Travel advertisers grew their ad spend on those sites by 364 percent.


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