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Nielsen develops ratings system for Facebook

Gez Hebburn

Facebook LogoCompanies will soon be able to buy advertising space on Facebook with a ratings system commonly used in TV and print. Marketers currently buy adverts based on click-through rates and page impressions, but The Nielsen Co. will offer a new ratings service for Facebook from August 15.

The ratings system will multiply the reach of an advert by the frequency the audience views it during a campaign to produce Gross Rating Points (GRP).

Facebook is the first customer to use the Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings service, but Nielsen said it was not specific to a particular website, so other social networks could adopt the system. Nielsen is not the first company to apply traditional advertising values to Facebook. In July, digital business analytics firm comScore rolled out a tool for marketers to see how many people interact with their products on Facebook. ComScore's service also takes into account what users say about brands on their pages and how many people 'like' a product or brand to produce GRP.

Facebook is also improving its own marketing tool, Insights, which produces data on how users are interacting with the content on a brand's page. Although the tool is aimed at businesses who need to understand their Facebook page marketing data, Insights is available to any Facebook group.

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