LinkedIn To Leverage User Follows And Recommendations In New Social Ad Formats

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Taking a page from Facebook’s ad formats, professional social network LinkedIn is launching new social ad formats today that will leverage members’ actions on the site to serve more targeted ads.

So if you follow a company, or recommend a product or company, LinkedIn will use this data in display ads to give you a more targeted advertisement. For example, LinkedIn could put up an ad for a Google job posting (sponsored by Google) that will show people in your network who work at Google and could refer you.

Another format could feature a display ad for a company, and LinkedIn will show how many of the network’s users have followed or recommended the company and/or its products.

LinkedIn will also track any information and actions taken through its plug-ins as well. Starting in August, LinkedIn says that you can opt-out of any information (such as impression data) that may be sent to LinkedIn via these plug-ins.

LinkedIn says the personalized LinkedIn Ads will start rolling out today to a small set of members as part of a limited release. Of course, privacy is always an issue when leveraging social data on networks. LinkedIn says that y name and image is never shared with any advertiser and you can choose to opt out of these personalized ads.

LinkedIn recently changed its privacy settings, which hinted that the company could be rolling out more Facebook-like ads in the near future. While some may find the ads invasive, serving highly-targeted, more interactive ads is better for the network ad dollars. It’s probably wise for LinkedIn to start thinking more like Facebook in terms of advertising.