Facebook Building Lead in U.S. Display Ads, ComScore Says

Facebook Inc., the world’s largest social-networking service, accounted for 28 percent of U.S. online display-advertising impressions in 2011, expanding its lead in the industry, ComScore Inc. said.

Facebook had 21 percent of impressions -- the number of times an ad is presented for viewing -- in the previous year, ComScore said. Yahoo! Inc. remained No. 2, with 11 percent, the research firm found. Microsoft Corp. was third, accounting for 4.5 percent, followed by Google Inc. at 3.6 percent.

The company’s more than 800 million members and its ability to target users have made Facebook more attractive to advertisers. In dollar terms, the company received 16 percent of spending on U.S. display ads last year, up from 12 percent, according to another research firm, New York-based EMarketer Inc. Display ads usually include photos, banners and videos -- rather than the text links typical of Internet-search ads.

Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, is aiming to file for an initial public offering as early as this week with a potential valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion, people familiar with the matter said last week. The IPO would provide resources to help the company maintain its lead in social networking and display ads.

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