MySpace will target ads to users' personal data

Myspace, the largest online social network, will soon begin tailoring ads to the personal data submitted by its 110 million active users on their profile pages. Facebook is sure to follow. Snip from NYT article by Brad Stone:

Executives at Fox Interactive Media, the News Corporation unit that owns MySpace, will begin speaking about the results of that program this week. They say the tailoring technology has improved the likelihood that members will click on an ad by 80 percent on average.

"We are blessed with a phenomenal amount of information about the likes, dislikes and life's passions of our users," said Peter Levinsohn, president of Fox Interactive Media, who will talk about the program at an address to investors and analysts at a Merrill Lynch conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. "We have an opportunity to provide advertisers with a completely new paradigm."

Oh lordy, whenever they say "new paradigm," you know you're in for something fun. Link.

I generally post phony data to sites like MySpace. As a result, I'm bracing myself for unicorn timeshare ads and polyamorous mesothelioma ringtones.

I have no doubt the new move will be profitable. But if they want to improve ad revenue at MySpace even more, they might start by de-shittifying the site a little. Horrible UI = takes 10x more clicks to do anything than it should = squeeze out more pageviews per user but = less happy users = Facebook drain. Sneaky stuff like that always hurts in the long run.