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Facebook, Twitter Get A Bigger Share Of Mobile Ads

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Pandora (NYSE:P) and Twitter are challenging Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and others for a dominant share of the fast-growing mobile display ad market in the U.S., according to a report released Tuesday.

Mobile publishers, including social media services Facebook and Twitter and Internet radio service Pandora, are rapidly taking over the mobile display market from rivals Google, Apple and Millennial Media (NYSE:MM), market research firm IDC said.

Mobile publishers controlled 52% of all mobile display ads in 2012 vs. 39% in 2011 as they stepped up their work to better monetize their services on mobile devices. Last week, Facebook announced plans to launch its own user-interface software on mobile phones.

Google, Apple and Millennial operate ad networks for selling ads on mobile devices such as Google's Android-powered smartphones and tablets and Apple's iPhones and iPads.

The shift of power in mobile display ads is likely to continue moving in favor of publishers, IDC analyst Karsten Weide said in a statement.

"Mobile ad networks are losing market share to publishers, and we expect them to lose even more going forward," he said. "Networks, especially independent ones, are entering a difficult phase in which, with an ever smaller share of revenue, they'll have to compete with publishers, which will only grow in strength."

Sales of mobile ads in the U.S. last year reached $1.7 billion vs. $700 million in 2011. Facebook ranked as the leading mobile publisher, with $234 million, followed by Pandora with $229 million and Twitter with $117 million.