MSN Ads Know What Youre Talking About

    October 24, 2005

It looks like Microsoft has taken contextual ads to the next level by inserting ads in your MSN instant messenger conversations based on the content of the conversation. The new beta of Messenger 8 includes linked ads in the conversation window.

Google caught some flack when they introduced contextual ads into Gmail. Some felt it was an invasion of privacy because they were scanning the text of the emails looking for keywords and then sticking ads in the email.

As SearchEngineJournal points out, this new move by Microsoft’s MSN division quickly boots those to the back of the line. Traditionally, advertisements were based on other criteria including local and behavioral, but this new move go to a new level.

While this does seem to be the wave of the future, this also seems to be a bit excessive. A lot of people interested in privacy are uninterested in Gmail and will become even less interested in the rather invasive behavior of MSN. The advertising will eventually reach saturation from the point consumers will get tired of the constant inundation of ads into private conversations.

While advertising pays many salaries, including my own, people want some amount of privacy or at least that pretense and a conversation with someone online may be stepping to far for many people. You can be sure the other companies with instant messaging services are watching this, monitoring reactions and metrics from this new system.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.