Skip the navigation

MySpace launches ad network for individuals, small businesses

The do-it-yourself ads allow targeting of users based on information from their social profiles

By Heather Havenstein
October 13, 2008 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - MySpace launched a beta version of its do-it-yourself advertising platform today that's aimed at letting individuals and small businesses create their own ads that can be customized to specific users of the social network.

The new MyAds service, which MySpace first detailed in November, will enable anyone to create customized banner advertisements using MySpace's HyperTargeting technology.

HyperTargeting allows advertisers to tailor their ads to users based on their interests and other demographic details noted on their MySpace profiles. The technology uses machine-learning tools to analyze all the information provided by users -- including the background themes they choose for their profiles and the photos they post to their blogs -- to identify which products or services a user may be interested in, MySpace has said.

"MySpace MyAds is a direct marketer's dream -- providing entrepreneurs with the most accessible, personalized, and targeted advertising toolkit in the market," said Jeff Berman, MySpace president of sales and marketing, in a statement. "We're giving businesses better ROI ASAP and in today's economy, that's a must-have."

After an ad is created, MySpace reviews it to ensure that it meets the site's terms of service and then launches the ad. After the ad goes live, MySpace also will provide a suite of analytic tools and key performance indicators noting the number of times an ad has been shown, the number of click-throughs and the running cost of a campaign, MySpace said. The advertiser is charged only when a user clicks on the ad, as opposed to when an ad is served to a user, according to MySpace.

Michael Arrington, a blogger at TechCrunch, noted that the move by MySpace is part of the effort under way by all social networks to try to bolster revenue from the massive number of users they have attracted to their sites.

"The big social networks are still trying to find their 'Google Moment' -- the point when (and if) they find a way to monetize these massive audiences they've attracted," Arrington added. "Google was just a great search engine until they matched it with contextual advertising. MySpace and Facebook need to find their own revenue engine."

Still, MySpace and its rival Facebook trail Google in the revenue they generate per visitor, he noted.

Rick Turoczy, a blogger at Read Write Web, noted the similarities between Google's AdWords and MySpace's MyAds.

"Like Google's ad platform, the new MySpace ad platform allows anyone to establish an account and begin targeting ads to a particular demographic," Turoczy added. "Unlike Google, however, MySpace allows users to build image-based ads on the fly. What's more, advertisers will find [that] the targeting options get exceptionally granular."

The ability to offer granular demographics to advertisements may help bolster MySpace's attempts to create a revenue stream from its user base, he added.

"Will advertisers adopt this 'hypertargeted' platform with the same vigor that has catapulted Google to such incredible heights? That remains to be seen." Turoczy said. "But one thing is for sure, with MyAds, MySpace has taken a decided step forward in attempting to drive revenue using its most valuable asset: its users."

Read more about Networking in Computerworld's Networking Topic Center.



Our Commenting Policies
Internet of Things: Get the latest!
Internet of Things

Our new bimonthly Internet of Things newsletter helps you keep pace with the rapidly evolving technologies, trends and developments related to the IoT. Subscribe now and stay up to date!