Last week, Nielsen and Facebook declared that they were “In A Relationship” together with a new product Nielsen is rolling out called BrandLift, which is supposed to measure brand awareness of ads on the social network with opt-in polls. Almost immediately after the two companies announced their strategic love affair, Nielsen started putting out glowing reports about Facebook and how much time people are spending on social networks.
Ads on social networks don’t perform as well as ads on other parts of the Web, but there’s tons of cheap inventory (i.e., pageviews), so advertisers don’t have much choice but to be there. Anything that can help justify their spending 119 percent more than last year on social network ads (Nielsen) is good for Facebook.
For instance, one Nielsen study found that found people at work spent more than seven times as many hours on social networking sites in 2008 than the year before, and that half of all online workers log onto Facebook at the office and spend more time there than on any other site (an average of 3 hours and 10 minutes per day). The message was clear: if you want to reach people online, you have to advertise on Facebook. More…