New figures published yesterday revealed that Facebook is the single largest platform for online advertising in the UK.
The data, by analysts comScore, showed that the market share of display advertising controlled by the social networking phenomenon had soared since 2009 to nearly a third of Britain’s online advertising sector.
Researchers estimated that UK internet users were exposed to almost 221.1 billion display ads in the third quarter of this year, representing a 34 per cent year-on-year increase.
They then subdivided these into a top ten – some 68.7 billion were on Facebook, well ahead of the 13.7 billion placed on various sites under the Microsoft umbrella, the 8.8 billion on eBay and the 8.2 billion via Google. There were 7.7 billion display adverts on Yahoo, an increase which was more than twice those seen on lesser platforms such as Glam Media, Trader Media Group, AOL, Bebo and Amazon.
The largest number of these ads were provided by large companies who have been swift to embrace the possibilities of online marketing, such as the Virgin Group, which was responsible for 4.4 billion adverts concerning its broadband, mobile and TV services – topping the comScore list of brands.
It was followed by the O2 group’s owner Telefónica, with 2.9 billion ads, and broadcasting company BSkyB, with 2.6 billion.
In fourth place was telecoms giant BT, with 2.3 billion ads, followed by eBay, Microsoft and Google itself, with 1.2 billion, 1 billion and 814 million ads respectively.
ComScore Europe managing director Mike Read noted that many companies were responding to the global economic downturn by placing more of an emphasis on online marketing.
“Following the ad recession that occurred from late 2008 through most of 2009, we are now seeing a strong resurgence in the online display ad market,” he said.
Mr Read predicted that the market would expand even further in the final quarter of the year.
“In the run up to Christmas with consumers searching for gifts, the growth in online advertising is likely to continue its ascent,” he added.