Advertisers turn to Facebook, turn away from Google

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We already know that the US military has embraced the social networking concept, and that Twitter accounts are becoming valuable commodities, now it looks like the advertising industry is throwing money at Facebook in terms of spend - and doing so at the expense of Google.

New Media Age is running an interesting cover story this week, suggesting that Facebook is challenging Google in terms of direct response advertising spend. This comes as advertising agencies have started to notice a trend with spending power shifting away from channels such as paid search. Certainly there seems to be no shortage of brands which are looking to embrace social networking as an avenue for advertising reach, and Facebook is without doubt the daddy of the social networks right now. The fact that it opened up its API for advertising agencies last year won't have hurt any either, allowing the agencies to have some granularity of control over campaign creation and management. Oh, and the new sampling ad format being rolled out this week helps as well.

New Media Age claims that a "shift in spend favouring Facebook over Google could threaten the search giant’s dominance over online ad spend" and Matt Simpson, chair of the IPA Digital Group, told the publication that "the idea of having so many people’s data in one place and being able to test on so many variables is compelling. In 2010 Facebook is likely to become the second biggest supplier after Google".

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