EXCLUSIVE: Facebook Australia is set to bust through $50 million in ad revenues next year as official SMI figures obtained by AdNews show the social networking site delivered a 183% revenue lift in February alone.

Nearly all Australia’s major online publishers are reeling from an unexpected downturn in online ad demand from major advertisers and media agencies so far this year. But Facebook continues to storm through the growth charts, writing just under $2 million in February – at least $30 million in ad revenue is now forecast for the Australian site in 2011.

In contrast, News Corp-owned Myspace’s ad dollars have collapsed. At its peak 18 months ago, Myspace was said to have annual ad revenues of around $20 million.

It’s unclear how much advertising Facebook extracts from direct sales in this market but the latest SMI figures demonstrate large advertisers are moving en masse to the site.

OMG chief executive Leigh Terry predicted Facebook would be a $50 million ad business next year. Only Microsoft Advertising and carsales.com.au managed standout online ad growth figures in February with respective increases of 79% and 57% to $1.7 million each.


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