Social networking sites make up more than 20 percent of all U.S. online display ad impressions

Social networking sites accounted for more than 20 percent of all display ads viewed online in June, according to data from the comScore Ad Metrix. Among sites in the social networking category, MySpace came in at first place with 9.2 percent share of display ads while Facebook followed closely behind with 8.2 percent. Combined, both sites made up more than 80 percent of ads.

“Over the past few years, social networking has become one of the most popular online activities, accounting for a significant portion of the time Internet users spend online and the pages they consume,” said Jeff Hackett, comScore senior vice president. “Social networking sites now account for one out of every five ads people view online. Because the top social media sites can deliver high reach and frequency against target segments at a low cost, it appears that some advertisers are eager to use social networking sites as a new advertising delivery vehicle.”

The study also revealed that AT&T came in as the top display advertiser on social networking sites in June, with more than 2 billion ad impressions, representing 30 percent of the company’s total number of display ads during the month. Coming in at second place was Experian Interactive—a company which produced ads for educational degree programs and credit scores–with almost 1.3 billion impressions in the category. In addition, the study showed that two of the top ten advertisers on social networking sites in June delivered most of their impressions within the same category. The producer of love and celebrity quizzes, Pangea Media, delivered 90 percent of its ads on social networking sites while online gaming provider Zynga delivered 97 percent.

“As social networking sites innovate on their existing ad offerings, the category should continue to grow in ad volume, while CPMs could also increase if the sites can demonstrate a high campaign ROI,” said Hackett.

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