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Facebook dominates social networking sites, Google leads in search

Posted on 18 Feb 2013 at 16:18 pm

comScore recently released its annual Digital Future in Focus reports, which looked at what happened in 2012 and how the prevailing trends in social media, search, online video, online advertising, mobile and e-commerce are defining/impacting the current digital marketplace this year.

The U.S. edition of the report reveals Facebook dominates social networking sites with five out of every six minutes spent online on these sites, while Google and Bing battle it out in search. Online advertising was up in 2012, with nearly six trillion display ads published, up 500 billion from 2011.

“2013 is poised to be digital’s most exciting year yet as the growing ubiquity of digital platforms presents marketers with nearly endless opportunities to connect and engage with consumers,” said Linda Abraham, comScore CMO and EVP of global product development.

Some key findings in the 2013 U.S. Digital Future in Focus report

• Facebook is top social networking site: Americans’ usage of social networking sites continued to be dominated by Facebook, which accounted for five out of every six minutes spent online on these sites. Facebook’s 2012 IPO signaled a maturation of the social media market with a renewed focus on building strong business models and monetisation streams. Several other social media players also made waves in the public markets this year, including LinkedIn, Yelp, Zynga and Groupon. Other players like Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram (now part of Facebook) have all posted strong user growth as they begin to ramp up their revenue engines.

• Google leads in search: Google continued its strong lead in the U.S. search market in 2012, while Bing managed to gain ground as the #2 search engine, The desktop-based U.S. core search market saw its first signs of flattening as an increasing number of searches shift to vertical-specific searches and mobile platforms.

• Online advertising increasing: Nearly six trillion display ad were published in 2012, up 500 billion from 2011, as brand marketers have become increasingly comfortable with a medium capable of delivering strong marketing ROI. However, comScore research showed that an average of three in 10 ads are never rendered in-view, leading to significant waste, weaker campaign performance and a glut of poor-performing inventory that imbalances the supply-and-demand equation and depresses CPMs.

• Smartphone, tablets drive mobile landscape: Smartphones reached 50% of the mobile market penetration in 2012, with the Android platform capturing the majority of the smartphone market (50%) for the first time. Tablets continued to gain traction, with 52.4 million US tablet owners as of December 2012. The rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets, and consumers’ increasing use has resulted in a fragmented digital media landscape where the typical consumer now shares his time across multiple screens.

• Online video market maturing: The US online video market also shows signs of maturing from a consumption standpoint. Monetisation is picking up steam as YouTube ramps up advertising efforts, while traditional media players find success with TV commercial content. As the demand for high-impact video advertising exceeds the available inventory look for continued momentum on the advertising side, particularly as targeting improves

• E-commerce gains at expense of brick-and-mortar:  2012 was a strong year for retail e-commerce despite continued economic uncertainty, outpacing growth at brick-and-mortar retail by a factor of approximately four times. Total US retail and travel-related e-commerce reached US$289 billion in 2012, up 13% from the previous year. While e-commerce continues to gain share from traditional retail, the first signs of mobile commerce affecting the digital commerce landscape are starting to emerge. In Q4 2012 m-commerce transactions (from both smartphones and tablets) represented approximately 11% of corresponding e-commerce spending.

Download reports here.

Tags: comScore , digital future report , US , social media , facebook , google , bing , online advertising , smartphones , tablets , mobile space , online video , e-commerce , brick-and-mortar