Show Me The Money!

While hot internet properties such as Facebook and Youtube undeniably get eyeballs, marketers have been struggling with how to commoditize that traffic. Just throwing up banner ads hasn’t been working out that well, according to a study from Forrester that recommends moving past run-of-site placements to engage users.

The start-up that turned its Harvard founders into gazillionaires is addressing this issue with an innovative new ad platform. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Facebook is developing a tactic to target its ads based on the details users reveal in their online profiles. While networks like Yahoo! have long used personal data to offer their advertisers behavioral targeting (ads that run based on users’ reading habits and personal info), this would take targeting to another level, as advertisers could match their content with users based on their personal interest--like music, movies or activities. Rather than running as banners, these ads would join the “news feed” that currently relays updates on the user’s friends.

Will it work? Last time Facebook adjusted its format to please advertisers, users weren’t too happy.

Meanwhile, Youtube finally figured out how to unobtrusively incorporate ads into their videos, but that’s all I can say about it because I’ve already used up my allotted space for Google-related news this month.