Facebook benefits from higher ad rates ahead of IPO

Sharp rise in volumes and rates should boost the social networking giant's forecast revenues

Facebook's advertising rates have shot up 41 per cent on a year ago, an authoritative new survey suggests, boosting hopes for the social networking website's planned $100bn (£63bn) stock-market flotation.

The figures, compiled by the ad agency TBG Digital, one of the biggest spenders on Facebook, show that the cost of advertising was rising even as the website increased the number of ads it carries on each page.

"It's good news for Facebook," said Simon Mansell, the chief executive of TBG Digital. "Facebook has seen an increase in pricing at the same time it has grown the number of ads per page to seven, which you would naturally expect to actually deflate prices."

TBG Digital, whose survey was audited by Cambridge University, is believed to be responsible for just under 10 per cent of all advertising spend on the world's biggest social media site, which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004 and has more than 850 million users.

Another key finding to emerge from TBG Digital's quarterly survey is that the number of Facebook users clicking on news stories has almost trebled compared with just three months earlier, thanks to so-called "social readers". This means that when a Facebook user is logged into the social networking site and also visits an external "partner" news website, the software will automatically post an update to that user's Facebook news feed, telling their friends they've read that story.

The Independent, The Guardian, The Washington Post and Yahoo are among the news websites that have signed up as partners with Facebook's social reader technology.

Click-through-rates – the number of Facebook users who subsequently click on a news story – have surged 196 per cent, says TBG Digital. At the moment the Facebook social reader service is free to news websites, but Mr Mansell said the jump in click-through rates suggested Facebook might be able to make money from it in future, in the same way that it has done from games.

He said it also showed Facebook was becoming important for sharing news in a way that "other social networks such as Twitter have dominated to date".

The continued strength of Facebook comes as Google's co-founder Sergey Brin warned that the social network and "walled garden" phone apps were making the web less free.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Services - City, London

£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...

Recruitment Genius: Administrator - IFA Based

£22000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Day In a Page

Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

In the driving seat: Peter Kay

Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road