In its neverending quest to prove the value of ads on its site, Facebook has added a new social metric that it says will show the benefits of ads that include social context from people’s friends on Facebook. There is now a new column called “Social %” in the Ads Manager, which shows the percentage of ad impressions that were delivered with social endorsements. “Social context” is the sentence in an ad that shows a user who among his or her Facebook friends have liked or viewed a particular page, event or app. The move follows Facebook’s work that was begun with Nielsen last spring, when the two attempted to quantify the “brand lift” from ads on the social net.
The new tool appears on the Reports Tab in the Facebook Ads Manager. Marketers will be able to see the number of clicks, click through rate and percentage of impressions from ads with social context.
Given Facebook’s dominant position among social net sites, it hasn’t had much trouble attracting a large amount of ad spending. Specifically, advertisers are expected to spend $1.7 billion globally next year to reach Facebook’s growing audience of roughly 500 million users, according a report from eMarketer last month. In contrast, MySpace (NSDQ: NWS), with its shrinking audience, is expected to draw just $297 million in global ad revenues next year, down 14 percent from $347 million this year.
More details on the new Social Context tool are available here.