Q4 2013 saw a spike in quarter-on-quarter impressions and click-through rates on paid Facebook ads.

This comes at a difficult time for brands on Facebook. News feed changes on Facebook have forced posts from free-to-run ‘pages’ further down Facebook users’ news feeds. 

Brands and companies are now being encouraged to concentrate on paid ads for their Facebook marketing strategies and forget the free channel of running a Facebook page.

The latest report from Kenshoo seems to bolster the logic in this possible change in direction for Facebook into a more ad driven marketing landscape, rather than a content driven one.

Here are some more stats from the research.

Core impression and click volume metrics rose more than 50% in Q4 vs. Q3.

Increased engagement drove click-through rate up 10% quarter-over-quarter (QoQ). Perhaps Facebook users are more inclined to interact with brands during the holiday season because they are already geared up for purchasing.

For advertisers using the Kenshoo platform, increased competition during the peak shopping season led to a 20%+ QoQ rise in unit costs and a 100%+ QoQ rise is spend for advertisers.

  • Cost-per-click increased 21%
  • Cost-per-thousand impressions increased 33%
  • Spend increased 101%
  • Advertiser revenue increased 60%

Facebook has had a busy news week. Although rumours of Facebook’s death having been greatly exaggerated, the most popular social network in the world saw usage fall by 3% in the second half of 2013.

Whether this is a general leveling off, which all social networks will likely experience eventually, or whether it’s a sign that, as a couple of Princeton graduates have recently posited, Facebook is in fact a virulent social disease that will have lost 80% of its users by 2017. Well, time will obviously tell.

As the stats above reveal, Facebook is becoming a more profitable channel for advertisers, and as adverts and sponsored posts push free content out of users’ news feeds, perhaps the Princeton students may be proved right as users abandon Facebook for other, less advert-heavy, networks.

For more on Facebook from the blog, read our guide on how small businesses can make the most of Facebook and Matt Owen’s post on why he disagrees with Forrester on Facebook’s failing of marketers.