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Back to the Basics: Facebook’s Draw for Advertisers — 955M People, 15% of Time Online

Written by: Cheryl Morris, VP Marketing

Growth of online display ad spend will outpace that of paid search ad spend this year, driven predominantly by a continued expansion of inventory and mobile. Getting back to the basics, online display advertisers have three main goals:

  1. Find audiences that generate the greatest value,
  2. Minimize the cost to reach these audiences, and
  3. Do both at scale, or high volume.

Our Ad Engine software automates the labor-intensive process of maximizing return on Facebook ad spend (ROAS = (value – cost) ÷ cost), and Facebook’s engagement as a web destination enables this at scale.

As Facebook approaches the 1 billion user milestone, we wanted to highlight a recent comScore report that emphasize Facebook’s dominance on the web — the most basic reason why online ad spend continues to flow to the social network.

If Facebook were a nation, it would be the 3rd largest.

Counting 955 million monthly active users and 552 million daily active users, if Facebook were a country it would be the third largest in the world by population. This reach extends to mobile, where 543 million people use Facebook at least once a month (find more Facebook mobile numbers here).

For large-scale advertisers with volume goals, the sheer extent of this reach makes Facebook an opportunity impossible to ignore. In addition is the global nature of these Facebook users, with 81% living outside the United States and Canada.

Following user numbers are pageviews, with comScore reporting that Facebook accounts for 16% of all pageviews on the web.

These pageviews offer advertisers inventory to place their ads, and Facebook holds the #1 spot as being the largest publisher of display ad impressions. As you can see in the graph to the right, it publishes more impressions than the next 10 largest online ad publishers combined.

Facebook accounts for 15% of time spent on the web.

Not only are hundreds of millions of people accessing Facebook on a daily basis across the globe, they’re spending a considerable amount of time there. At of the end of 2011, comScore reports that accounted for the largest percentage of time spent on the internet — outpacing time spent online consuming news, email, entertainment, shopping, and gaming.

15% of all time spent online is spent on, exceeding the time spent on sites (11%), sites (8%) and sites (5%).

In minutes per user, that 15% equates into 423 minutes per month or just shy of 14 minutes per day.

In comparison to other popular social network destinations, Facebook controls 3 times more time per user than the combined time spent per user on Google+, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Looking for more Facebook advertising market research and performance data? Visit our Resources page and Blog.

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