- November 27, 2007

Display Advertising on MySpace and Facebook

As promised in an earlier blog post, I want to share with you an analysis of the display advertising delivered on MySpace and Facebook that I recently presented at the Forrester Consumer Forum.

The data are based on Comscore’s Ad Metrix service, which captures and classifies the ads seen by the Comscore panelists. We think this is a more accurate approach to measuring the number and types of ads delivered on sites than the spidering approach favored by other research companies because spiders miss much of the targeted ads that sites deliver today.

What the Comscore data reveal is that MySpace is far more developed as an advertising platform than Facebook – along a variety of dimensions. For example, in September MySpace attracted 68.4 million unique visitors, 2.2 times the 30.6 million that visited Facebook. But, MySpace visitors also consumed 1.4 times more pages per visitor and MySpace delivered 2.2 times more ads on each page viewed (with each ad being about twice the size of the ads run on Facebook). Cumulatively, this translates into MySpace delivering 6.6 times more display ad views than Facebook.

Clearly, these data point to the huge upside that exists for Facebook to increase its advertising business relative to MySpace by continuing to build its user base (Facebook unique visitors in September were up 129% versus year ago while MySpace increased by a slower 23%) and by increasing the number of ads they’re delivering per page viewed. Of course, it can be expected that, as the number of ads delivered on Facebook increases, astute marketers will also begin paying more attention to changes in the “share of advertising views” that they’re getting within their particular product category and target audience to see if their “share of voice” is declining.

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