White label social networking software maker ONEsite is launching its very own advertising platform InteractAd today, essentially declaring traditional online advertising is past its prime and that it’s time for social advertising to take its place.
Whether that notion is true or not is subject to debate, but we’ve noted earlier that online ad revenue growth seems to be grinding to a halt.
ONEsite wants to provide an alternative ad platform that leverages community features, content-driven participation and viral elements like relationship and profile data from other social networks (through OpenID-enabled user signup integration with Facebook, MySpace and Google Friend Connect), and introduce intelligent, interactive banner ads that can track who is viewing them and also allow for brand managers to solicit feedback from users throughout campaigns.
InteractAd will only work with online communities powered by ONEsite, which is of course a major limiting factor. Senior VP Thad Martin checked in to say that InteractAd will in fact be platform-agnostic and take advantage of “every scrap of data portability and open technology we’ve gotten our hands on”.
Facebook and MySpace have their own ways of leveraging social relationships to serve more engaging ads designed to increase the ROI of social media campaigns, and companies like SocialMedia, Adknowledge / Cubics, Offerpal Media and SplashCast are hoping to cash in on social network monetization efforts as well across various websites and application platforms.
Also, if social ads are the future remains questionable. One of the highlights of the recent Social Ad Summit was a panel of media buyers who confessed that currently advertiser interest in social advertising is driven more by curiosity than urgency (read this Clickz report for more highlights). With the current economic downturn, it will be interesting to see if that curiosity will prove sticky enough.
ONEsite is one of the pricier proponents in an increasingly saturated market of social network software providers, which includes players like Ning, SocialGo, Mzinga, KickApps, and many more. The company is actually a subsidiary of Oklahoma hosting company Catalog.com and recently forecasted revenues of $30 million by the end of 2009 as a stand-alone business. They claim to power 3,000+ communities mounting up to almost 5 million members.