Facebook's is winning in the battle for display advertising dollars.
That's the headline from ComScore's third quarter display advertising data, which it gave CNBC an exclusive look at today.
Facebook accounts for 15 percent of total spent online, beating Google and Yahoo sites, which are tied with 10 percent each. Facebook also is responsible for 28 percent of all display ads seen online in the US, up from 23 percent in the same quarter last year.
This is more striking considering that Facebook is only in 4th place when it comes to unique U.S. visitors. More people visit Google , Yahoo and Microsoft sites, but people spend more time on Facebook than on Google, or than on Yahoo and Microsoft combined.
So who's advertising on Facebook? The top advertiser on Facebook last quarter was AT&T , delivering 10 billion ad impressions over the course of the quarter, which accounted for more than 25 percent of the telecom giant's ad impressions last quarter. It's followed by Experian Interactive, which markets financial products like Freecreditreport.com and Lowermybills.com with 18.5 percent of display ad impressions. IAC comes in at third place, with 33 percent of impressions, followed closely by the Walt Disney Company, with 28 percent and then Google in fifth place, with 19 percent.
But what differentiates Facebook's advertiser mix is its appeal to a broad group of smaller advertisers — it has snagged the long tail. More than 61 percent of Facebook ads come from advertisers outside the top 1,000. In contrast only 21 percent of Microsoft and 23 percent of Yahoo's display ads come from outside the top 1,000. Facebook's reach is significantly broader than the total internet, which gets 47 percent of its advertisers from outside the top 1,000.
The fact that only 20.9 percent of Facebook's ads come from the top 100 advertisers in the US is a bullish sign for Facebook. This statistic says that Facebook's easy advertising interface is easy to use for small advertisers, and that the largest advertisers still haven't figured out how Facebook fits into their strategy. But, it seems inevitable that they will, considering the kind of time consumers are spending on the site.
How did Facebook score so many eyeballs? It seems to come down to the growth smart phones and mobile access. A full 55 percent of the 72 million US mobile users access social networking sites almost every day -- that's up nearly sixty percent from the year-ago quarter.
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