MySpace Has What Facebook Will: Ad Targeting

[qi:80] Earlier this week, a lot of attention was paid to Facebook’s new advertising platform, in particular how the company was going to let marketers use profile information to better target their ads. It wasn’t a surprise, given the fascination Silicon Valley has with Mark Zuckerberg’s baby.

Fascination — or rather, obsession — is one of the reasons why the world’s largest social network, MySpace, is losing some mind share, if not the share of the actual market. That should explain why Facebook’s planned “targeted ad-platform” (to be launched later this year) got all the attention from The Wall Street Journal. The business daily failed to mention, however, that MySpace has already launched an early version of a similar targeted advertising platform.

“MySpace remains the industry powerhouse with a huge advertising opportunity in front of it,” wrote Richard Greenfield, an analyst with Pali Research, in a note to his clients this morning. He went on to predict: “The most valuable advertising real estate across MySpace should become targeted over the course of the next 6-12 months –- meaningfully increasing the advertising opportunity.”

While Facebook has been struggling with some of its banner-based advertising, MySpace has been able to attract some large corporations to its platform, such as Coca-Cola (KO). Yet, we are beginning to see Facebook get more of a mind (and media) share.

I think the reason we have this Facebook obsession is because a lot of us who live in the hothouse called Silicon Valley (including the media) are spending a lot of time on Facebook. I wonder how many of my colleagues have MySpace pages (I don’t.) It is one explanation for the apathy towards Rupert Murdoch’s social platform.

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