Social Networks’ Users Open To Better-Targeted Ads

    May 30, 2008

People on social networking sites don’t object too much to the idea of ads, according to a recent study.  But before marketers throw more money at Facebook and MySpace, they should know that users also feel ad targeting leaves a lot to be desired.

Jere Doyle
 Jere Doyle

Prospectiv polled 800 users in March to discover their thoughts on the issue.  About 62 percent of respondents wanted to hear offers from their favorite brands.  A full 87 percent of them (or almost 700 people) said that either few or none of the ads they’re shown are interesting or relevant, though.

Jere Doyle, Prospectiv’s CEO, emphasized, "[T]he web publishing industry seeking to monetize their online communities (needs) to improve ad relevance," according to Jack Loechner.

This might be enough to cause some companies to call for Beacon’s resurrection.  Still, if social networks and advertising agencies can get their acts together in other ways, they should reach an audience in the end.  The average Facebook or MySpace user isn’t about to flee to a network that charges fees instead of showing ads.

MySpace may be onto a solution that both groups can embrace with its upcoming HyperTargeting program.  In the meantime, social networks’ sidelines are looking like the least risky place to be in a financial sense.