In just a few short years, social networking sites have managed to grow their share of display ads to 21% of the total market. The two most popular sites, MySpace and Facebook dominate, with market shares of 9.2% and 8.2%, respectively. According to comScore vice president, Jeff Hackett, “[s]ocial networking sites now account for one out of every five ads people view online.”
Advertisers who are spending big time on this media form range from traditional to new online companies. For example, AT&T, which needs to reach a broad and diverse audience, saw about 30% of its delivered display ads occur on social networks in June 2009. Other advertisers, such as online gaming concern Zynga, reaching for a niche audience, saw nearly 97% of its display ads delivered on social networking sites.
Hackett predicts that social networking sites will continue to grab a larger share of the display ad market and notes that the media form is attractive for “major advertisers seeking to optimize campaign reach and frequency and smaller advertisers desiring to reach a highly targeted audience.”[Source: comScore release, 9.1.2009]