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Why Facebook Dominates Spending

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The holiday shopping season is over (for some of us), but that doesn't mean we shouldn't stop talking about it.

The rise of social networks have added to this trend, as we all post about what we received and gave, and comment on the gift exchanges of friends and strangers. Social networks are becoming increasingly important as they influencing what we buy off-line.

Facebook is proving to drive spending. IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark notes that Facebook referrals "converted sales at more than three and a half times the rate of Pinterest referrals, perhaps indicating stronger confidence in network recommendations." IBM didn't say whether Twitter , which recently went public, helped drive spending and sales during the holiday season.

IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark is a real-time, "cloud-based digital analytics platform that tracks millions of transactions and analyzes terabytes of raw data from approximately 800 retail sites nationwide," according to the company.

Despite Facebook referrals driving more sales that Pinterest referrals, Pinterest users actually spent more. IBM noted that the average Pinterest referral order was $109.93, versus $60.48 per Facebook referral. Perhaps that's why Pinterest recently raised $225 million in new funding, giving the company a valuation of approximately $3.8 billion.

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--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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