In the first quarter of 2010, Facebook became the largest display advertiser, serving 176.3 billion display ads, versus Yahoo who served 131.6 billion banner ads according to new comScore numbers. The measurement is only of display ads within the company websites, not those included through external networks. As the Wall Street Journal points out, the large reach of Facebook ads has not yet translated into equivalent revenue streams.
While Facebook is expected to generate more than $1 billion in revenue this year, it’s a fraction of the revenue being generated by Yahoo, who earned $6.5 billion last year, much of which came from advertising. The growth of Facebook ads is impressive. As Jessica Vascellaro points out, “Nielsen Co., another measurement firm, found that Facebook’s share of the U.S. display-ad market grew to 20% in April 2010, up from 2% in April 2009.”
While Facebook may not have translated all that traffic into equivalent revenue, there’s no doubt that Facebook is growing their base of businesses using the service. In addition to global corporations who are funding Facebook’s growth, a growing number of small businesses are turning to Facebook for promotional purposes. Performance advertisers and affiliate advertisers have also been pouring money into Facebook Ads as the site’s audience continues to skyrocket.
While Facebook hasn’t publicly stated any recent projections on revenue, we’d expect that the company’s ad revenue will continue to grow, reflecting the massive growth in dominance of display ads on the web.