back to article Facebook serves '23% of all US display ads'

Facebook now serves up more display ads than any other outfit on the US web, according to the latest numbers from market-research outfit comScore. In the third quarter, comScore says, the social network topped all other publishers with over 297 billion display-ad impressions, which translates to 23.1 per cent of the market. …


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  1. Jamester


    By my maths those percentage figures add up to 52.1%....

    Something fairly significant has been missed out, or there are an awful lot of < 0.5% ad share players out there?

    Someone searching for a "Facebook lords of Google" headline perchance.... "How can we make the numbers fit this?"

    1. It wasnt me
      Thumb Up

      Or perhaps ........

      ....... if you read it, you might have seen that the "Total Internet" adds up to 100% (not in itself surprising) and the table shows the top 10 US players in the market.

      As a slight aside, does this mean that merkins are more susceptible to buying what their shiny toy tells them to than the rest of the world?

    2. Alex Wells

      Leading Headlines

      I think this article is referring to which sites actually /display/ adverts rather than /serve/ adverts, so rather stands to reason that Facebook will display the most and that there will be lots of websites who show a < 0.5% share.

      Also explains why MS has such a high share - i reckon at least 80% of their share is people who hit the MSN homepage cos it's still the default on their IE7 comes-with browser...

  2. Donald Atkinson

    You mean that stuff on the right side?

    The stuff that I actively ignore?

    297 billion ads displayed? That means the failure rate of those ads can't be perceived by the human mind. If you are going to fail you may as well go big.

  3. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

    As an AdBlock user...

    ...I didn't even know there *were* ads on social networking sites!

    1. Elmer Phud

      As a FaceAche user . . .

      . . . I am obliged to say 'Me Too!!!'

      I honestly don't recognise Facebook on other machines without AdBlock, it sure don't look like 'my' Facebook.

  4. David Given
    Thumb Up

    Fantastic news!

    Maybe, if we all work hard, Facebook can show *100%* of all ads!

    ...why, no, I don't use Facebook; why do you ask?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    297 billion display-ads flashing in the void

    > with over 297 billion display-ad impressions

    All of which were completely ignored by Facebook users who were too busy checking out photos of hot drunk chicks, poking each other, slagging off people they don't like anymore or playing farmville.

    1. Oninoshiko


      Mostly playing farmville.

  6. dssf

    Most of those ads are probably like leukocytes

    Swirling around and lodging into cracks in a sewer. By now, since 1997, many of us just by second nature ignore MOST of them. Even popups get smacked or never seen. If i choose to follow an ad link, i usually mouse over it and note its source and then search independently of the page it showed up as a link. Not to deprive ad placers of revenue, but to avoid being fiendishly and improperly "counted" as a valid impressionee. Most of the time, the ad STILL ended up being not worth the time i spend investigating it. But, in maybe 13 years+, i have probably bought 1 or 2 items in TOTAL after clicking a link, and even then, i already knew of the product off-line.

    It's a tough, miserable slug-fest to capture impressions that follow through and lead to genuine revenue. Sustained revenue is elusive for some, sporadic for others. A few lucky ones or malicous dupesters proably fare better than most. Just presuming, though.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      One or two items in maybe 13+ years may well be higher than the average. You're an adman's goldmine.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    There are ads?

    On the Internet?


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Facebook naysayers

    As per usual no Reg readers believe it..

    All those adverts being paid for and nobody EVER looks at them? Somebody should tell those advertisers they're wasting their money, well El Reg readers say so therefore it must be true!

    No ostrich burying head in sand icon :(

    1. Elmer Phud


      I'm not sure that ostriches have ever buried thier heads in the sand - it just looks that way.

      They look behind to see what's coming and then can use those effing great legs and feet to spectacular effect.

    2. CD001


      There's always the gullible, the old and the insane - it's how snake oil salesmen have always made a living. Only the method of delivery has changed.

      The wily and/or cynical are unlikely to pay any attention to the ads - funnily enough 'cynical' is the collective noun for Reg readers.

  9. Steve Roper

    Those who ignore ads rather than blocking them

    I have some news for you - you might consciously ignore the ad, but ads aren't designed to appeal to the conscious mind. When you "ignore" them, they actually get stored in your unconscious memory without you realising it. Repetition of the ad then locks in your subconscious via a method very similar to hypnosis. Then, one day, you find you need a product of the sort that was being advertised. Without you even realising it, your subconscious mind will helpfully provide the name of a product it knows is what you want - the one that was stealthily programmed into it by the ads you ignored. At which point, the ad has done its job.

    I know because I've done work for an ad agency. They have expert psychologists who have years of training in making this shit work. Most people are convinced it doesn't work on them, because nobody likes to think they're so easily manipulated, but there are studies that clearly show that exposing people to repeated advertising and weeks later asking them related questions reveals very high retention rates even when the subjects don't actually remember seeing the ad.

    That's why I block ads, rather than try to "ignore" them. I freely admit I can be manipulated by a skilled psychologist, so I take steps to defend myself from it.

    1. Ragarath


      This means that when you yourself need said product whilst out and about most people will have several options available to them (all these subconscious ads) and will be able to go get whster it was.

      But you not knowing about it will have to pull out your iDevice (or alternative) and spend a few minutes looking for someone that sells said product (assuming signal etc).

      Advertising also exposes you to stuff that you may need some when. What you seem to be saying is that you run out and buy something just because you have seen an advert (the rest of us just realise we do not need it / can't afford it).

      If there was no advertising how would you know about something? Shops displaying wares on shelves or any such similar scheme is them advertising btw.

      Seems that the psychological part of your mind is called compulsive buying and paranoia.

      Everyone is entitled to their opinions, does not mean they are correct. Sorry to rant but ... meh.

      1. Steve Roper


        I'm not against advertising in the strictest sense (that is, the act of letting the public know that a product exists), I'm opposed to the misuse of psychology as a means of manipulation, which is what most advertising agencies are about these days.

        When I want to buy a particular item, I go online and research it. Like I did with my tablet PC - I didn't want an iPad or Android device, I wanted a Windows 7 iPad-like tablet. It took me two months of research and waiting for product releases before I settled on the Hanvon B10. I went to company websites and looked up all the information I needed on the subject. So I didn't need to be manipulated into a purchase, I wanted information in a specific place to be able to make an informed decision.

        So there's a difference between having advertising pushed in your face and having product information available on a website, locatable through search engines and online reviews.

        Finally, no I'm not given to impulse buying, and that's not what I meant when I talked about subconscious programming. What I meant was that when I wanted to buy a certain item I might be predisposed through such programming to buy a certain brand without realising why I chose that brand. Even though that brand might not be the best for what I want. My point is that I'm not arrogant enough to consider myself immune to manipulation by expert psychologists, and be being aware of that weakness, I can take steps to defend myself against it.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Facebook serves '23% of all US display ads'...

    Not on my browser it doesn't.

    Adblock FTW!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have proof that advertising works

    Why else would people buy brand leaders when they can buy identical stuff in different packaging at half the price?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      I have proof that advertising works

      > Why else would people buy brand leaders when they can buy identical stuff in different packaging at half the price?

      Mostly because the branded goods are actually the generic stuff in fancy packaging and the low cost alternatives are poorer quality?

      How is this proof that advertising works? People buy what works for them not what advertisers tell them to buy.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I hate internet ad's at work

    Espescially since I cant use the browser of my choice and an ad blocker of my choice because the IT dept insist on IE8 so that now the back buttons in my browser no longer work correctly when perusing El Reg because the adverts lock up my pages!

  13. The First Dave


    Look, lets forget about the raw numbers, and talk about what matters: Money. Facebook won't tell you? then we have nothing to talk about. A billion adverts on Farmville are _probably_ worth about the same as a single ad on something like Froogle.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    As a matter of curiosity, I looked at this thread using a browser without an ad blocker. As a result, I'm now a BT broadband subscriber, the proud owner of a Windows® Phone, an Orange subscriber, and a media studies teacher in a young offenders' institute in Merseyside.

    Also, I have a migraine.

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