Social marketing is just starting to bubble up and everybody wants in. But only ex-Googlers needed to apply to invest in MyLikes, a social marketing ad network which just raised a $630,000 seed round. The company, which was founded by two ex-Googlers—former Google Apps product lead Bindu Reddy and former AdSense tech lead Arvind Sundararajan—took money only from 11 other ex-Googlers.
CEO Reddy says she wanted to take money from people she knew and trusts, and those happened to be all Ex-Googlers. Individual investors included FriendFeed co-founders Paul Buchheit and Sanjeev Singh, angel investor Georges Harik, Digg VP Keval Desai, David Hirsch via Metamorphic Ventures, LinkedIn product VP Dipchand Nishar, Aydin Senkut, and Greg Lee. Robert Scoble and Louis Gray will be joining as advisors.
MyLikes matches advertisers with influencers who publish sponsored messages on Twitter or their blogs. It is a pay-per-post model, with each Tweet or post clearly labeled as an ad. Since launching in January, MyLikes has signed up 20,000 “influencers” who collectively spread 15 million ad impressions a day, or about half a billion per month. MyLikes measures clicks per followers, and is currently getting about 4 clicks per thousand followers on average, which comes out to about 20 cents per click. The average cost-per-click on AdSense in the U.S. is at least 2 to 3 times more expense, says Bindu.
Just like with AdSense, the effectiveness of the ads is measured and affects their price. Each d publisher gets an influencer’s score and the higher their clickthrough rate for a particular ad, the more money they make per click. MyLikes, of course, will now have to compete with Twitter’s own promoted Tweets which it is about to launch, as well as competing social advertising networks such as Idealab’s Tweetup. The difference is that MyLikes distributes ads through popular users, whereas the others insert ads directly from advertisers. Regardless of how they will appear, get ready to see a lot more ads on Twitter.