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MySpace Starts Contextual, Targeted Advertising

paidContent reports that MySpace will launch contextual, targeted advertising on its members’ profiles starting soon. After six months of testing with a 100-member team in MySpace’s parent corporation, their system will analyze the content of members’ profile pages and display relevant ads alongside the content.

paidContent reports:

The program is currently in a pilot phase with 10 “enthusiast” segments with some select advertisers, and will be available broadly this fall other segments. Also, in November, MySpace will launch a self-serve online ad system to allow smaller companies to aim at MySpace users with their ads.

They expect the advertising to jump 80% in click-through rate, while doubling their monthly revenues (to $80m).

They did not explain why they did not choose an extant contextual advertising platform, but it’s likely that they’d profit more from a home-grown solution.

31% of Social Network Users Enter False Information

A new survey by emedia suggests that 62% of social networking users are concerned about the security of their personally identifiable data. The fears run so high that 31% of social network users have already entered false information to protect their identity.

There’s lots of other interesting data, including respondents thoughts on how social networks can be used in business:

…87% of all respondents think social networking sites can be used for business purposes including networking (65%), exchanging ideas (58%), getting advice (44%), recruitment (43%), research (35%) and selling (31%).

But, be warned. Half of the users found advertising on social networks to be “intrusive.”

Can Yahoo Mash Cut It?

As Jerry Yang’s 100 days draw to a close, predictions for Yahoo announcements have flown thick and fast over the last week:

Obviously, the last one hasn’t come true. (Okay, neither has the second to last one, but anyway.) Yahoo has unveiled its newest attempt at social networking: Mash.

Yahoo Mash
My Yahoo Mash Profile

Entering invite-only beta over the weekend, Mash combines popular features from lots of other social networks, as Rafe Needlemen of CNET notes:

  • As with MySpace, “Users can add their own backgrounds and color schemes to totally destroy the readability and speed of their pages. . . .There’s a twist with Mash, though: When viewing any profile, users can switch from the pimped out page (the “fugly” version) to a plain, clean page with a white background.”

Viacom Seeking to Save Its Rep with . . . Yahoo?

Viacom, staunch opponent of YouTube, has cemented its reputation as “the man” among the free-content generation by opposing the Web favorite. The parent company of everything from MTV and VH1 to Comedy Central and Nickelodeon has a long way to go to catch up online after their attempts at suing the pants off Google.

Almost six months ago, Viacom announced that MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central would have their own branded video channels, and progress continues on that front. Part of the launch for these video channels is Viacom’s own social networking site, Flux. Fortune says Flux was supposed to launch last night, but the site still says it’s “Coming Soon . . .”

comScore: Clothes, Food Blogs Stickier

Surprise, surprise—comScore has found that the category of your blog can make all the difference in whether people are interested in it. With their media measurement panels, they observed that blogs about clothing and apparel, food and beverage and inexpensive products were among the best-received blog categories.

MediaPost reports:

“More serious categories such as insurance, financial services and pharmaceuticals do not engage blog visitors as well,” says Andrew Lipsman, senior analyst at comScore.

“The intensity of usage with conversational media sites is unique to the Internet,” Lipsman adds, with heavy visitors to conversational media sites in particular exhibiting certain niche online behaviors that can be underrepresented in a general consumer panel.

Yahoo! Back in the Game

beboYahoo! have finally secured a deal with a major social networking property for display and video advertising. Bebo, the UK and Ireland’s most popular social networking site, has entered into a multi-year, exclusive partnership.

Yahoo! Europe will help advertisers reach a young British audience of over 11 million users, generally ranging from 13 to 24 years – a sought-after but traditionally difficult group to target.

Although no financials have been disclosed, the deal is rumored to involve a revenue guarantee – an approach reportedly made by Google in a deal that snatched MySpace advertising, and possibly part of Microsoft’s recent Facebook agreement.

Joanna Shields, President of Bebo International, told Reuters that choosing a market leader like Yahoo! was the important part of the decision.

Netscape Announces New Social Site Propeller.com

As promised last week, Netscape has announced the pending location of its new social news site, Propeller.com.

propeller.com logo

The site isn’t currently ready, but Netscape says they’re hard at work behind the scenes on the switch.

Loren Baker, on Search Engine Journal, is hoping for new “Propel it” buttons to replace the old Netscape buttons. (I dunno, sometimes I’m easily distracted ;) .)

The name has good connotations for a social news site—and is actually spelled correctly. I wonder how much that cost them.