But the social network’s advertising revenue grew 18.4% during the quarter.
Covario also finds a spike in Google search spending in the first quarter.
Technology and consumer electronics companies increased their paid search spending 22% in the first quarter compared with the same period last year, according to a report from Covario. The search marketing firm provided no spending figures. Those companies increased their paid search spending in Q1 by 1% compared with the fourth quarter of 2011.
In the Americas, pay-per-click ad spending increased 15% in the first quarter compared with the same period a year ago, while Asia-Pacific had an 88% increase. In Europe, such spending declined 2%, which Covario blamed on the continent’s ongoing economic problems.
Globally, prices for keywords declined 3% in the first quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2011. That’s the second straight quarter those prices have declined, though Covario projects prices will stabilize in the second half of 2012.
"Advertisers are expected to benefit from such drivers as the Summer Olympics, the U.S. presidential elections, and the European Football Championships," says Charles Gaylord, a Covario research analyst. "The PC industry, in particular, is poised for enormous marketing pushes on behalf of Windows 8 and a flurry of new laptops." Windows 8 reportedly will be released in fall.
The report also says that technology advertisers spent 23% more on Google Inc. search ads in the first quarter compared with the same period last year. Paid search spending on Yahoo-Bing declined 20%. Microsoft Corp.’s Bing is the search engine on Microsoft and Yahoo sites.
The Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 will feature a search workshop on its first day, June 5. Among the sessions will be “Shifting a paid search campaign into overdrive with new Google tools” by Craig Handelsman, chief information officer of CentralVacuumStores.com , and Timothy Seward, CEO of search marketing firm ROI Revolution Inc.