May 31, 2011, 5:05 PM

Social mogul Facebook steals the show in display ads

Of the more than 1.11 trillion online display ads viewed by U.S. Internet users in the first quarter, nearly one in three were on Facebook, comScore says.

With more than 500 million active users, it's no wonder that Facebook commands a leading share of online display ads.

Of the more than 1.11 trillion online display ads U.S. Internet users viewed in the first quarter, nearly one in three were delivered on Facebook, according to web measurement firm comScore Inc.

The leading social network led all web sites that displayed ads, with 346.46 billion impressions, a 96.5% jump from the 176.31 billion impressions the social network delivered in Q1 2010. Yahoo Inc. sites came in second with 112.51 billion impressions, followed by Microsoft Corp., at 53.59 billion; AOL Inc., 33.45 billion; and Google Inc. sites, 27.99 billion.

Facebook has increasingly focused on online advertising, rolling out offerings such as Sponsored Stories, which lets companies place their logos alongside content from Facebook posts related to the advertiser. Consumers can click the ads, which appear in the right column of news feed pages in a box labeled Sponsored Story, to visit advertisers' Facebook pages.

Online display advertising overall, meanwhile, is thriving, says Jeff Hackett, comScore executive vice president. "We are now seeing more than one trillion display ads delivered every single quarter and nearly 300 individual advertisers spending at least $1 million a quarter on display," he says.

Telecommunications giant AT&T Inc. was the leading online display advertiser in Q1, with more than 19.47 billion impressions, followed by Experian Interactive, with 16.64 billion. Netflix Inc., No. 13 on Internet Retailer's Top 500 Guide, accounted for 8.79 billion ad impressions and Groupon Inc. 7.68 billion.

zak@verticalwebmedia.com

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