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MySpace Expands Self-Serve MyAds Display Ad Service

By Rafat Ali

MySpace’s hyping up its expanded self-serve ad service like the second coming of, well, Google AdWords. After being in test for almost a year, the company is launching its MySpace MyAds product in open beta tonight.

The social network has been using what it calls hypertargeting to allow its brand advertisers capability to micro-target users with ads. But this expanded MyAds platform will allow anyone to create an account, choose from among 1100 niche categories, upload/choose creatives and start an ad campaign, targeting the 76 million U.S. MySpace users. This is a display ad system, unlike Google’s text based ad system (at least on its own site), but like Google and others, is a CPC system. Also, like Google, it has build an analytics tool for the self-serve users...from the screenshot I saw, it does look a lot like Google Analytics.

It hypertargeting service allows advertisers to target ads based on the interest that MySpace users display on their profile pages. The new MyAds service allows targeting parameters such as age, sex, geographical location, combining it with user interest categories including specific keywords within each category. For example, within the ‘videogame’ enthusiast category, a further targeting keyword or phrase might include ‘Call of Duty 5’ if relevant to an advertiser’s campaign, the company explains.

The company says all inventory on the site is open to self serve, with the only exception being the MySpace homepage, which of course brings in the big dough, as much as $1 million a day. It also recently relaunched the site and homepage. At a time when the display ad market is slowing down, self serve or otherwise, will this help make up for the shortfall that’s likely to happen this year and next for MySpace? MySpace thinks this is going to add some more incremental millions to its revenues for the year.

Then there’s the argument of whether contextual targeted ads would work any better on MySpace (and indeed any social network) than, say, Google. For now, at least they’re likely to be cheaper on MySpace, that’s for sure. Meanwhile, the Google-MySpace $900 million ad deal is until 2010, and keep in mind that is a contextual text ad only deal. [paidContent.org]

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