Why should Facebook, its advertising partners, and application developers be the only ones to be able to make money from spamming your friends with ads and come-ons? Today, Ads-Click launched a private beta called MicroSocialAds that will let you get in on the advertising frenzy by inserting targeted, contextual text ads into your Facebook page. (As if Beacon wasn’t bad enough). Every time your friends click through to that Dell laptop or natural Viagra ad, you will get paid 80 percent of the ad! You may also find yourself without any friends. But, hey, at least you will be richer for it. Marginally. (Disclosure: Ads-Click is a TechCrunch sponsor and our TechCrunch France editor, Ouriel Ohayon, sits on its board).
The ads on Facebook will appear as a line of text no more than 35 characters long. They are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, are highly targetable by interest, and allow people to opt out of them. Ads-Click will match each ad from its network of more than 200,000 advertisers. The MicroSocialAds will be added to people’s profile pages just like any other Facebook application. (Again, the private beta just launched, so you won’t find this by searching Facebook’s application directory just yet). Explains Ads-Click CEO Pascal Rossini
We take the same approach as a company like AdBrite who already does this on Facebook, or any other app that uses AdSense. The only difference is that we remunerate the users and not the app owner.
In addition, you agree not to use the Service or the Site to . . . upload, post, transmit, share or otherwise make available any unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, solicitations, promotional materials, “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation;
On the other hand, Facebook is built on the backs of its users. They supply most of the content and activity. Why shouldn’t they get a cut of the advertising generated from their personal Facebook page—or MySpace or Bebo page, for that matter?
In fact, MicroSocialAds are not limited to Facebook. The personal ads also work with MSN Messenger, and will soon be available on Twitter, Yahoo IM, Skype, and OpenSocial. If you have no problem spamming your friends, or if the ads could be micro-targeted by you to the point where they don’t feel like ads, but more like personal product suggestions, then they might actually work out. The concept, though, certainly blurs the line between the social and the commercial. They need to be social enough so that they are palatable to the people expected to add them to their social communications, but commercial enough that they offer a return for advertisers.
What do you think? Does this represent the next stage in personalized advertising, or is it offensive?