Today in Social

I spoke with the CEO of Widgetbox yesterday, prior to the company’s announcement of an advertising platform partnership with Wikia. Widgetbox lets brands and publishers create engaging, rich-media ad units that can include social content streams (e.g., Twitter feeds, YouTube videos) and themselves be shared and embedded. Widgetbox claims that these units work for products other than movies and games. For instance, other clients like IDG and Federated Media advertise white papers and tech products – and adding social content amplifies those messages equally well. Publishers supposedly can charge advertisers a 30% to 50% premium over their usual online ad rates. Ad operations and sales staff at the publishers do a lot of the “creative” work, using templates and simple tools a la Apple’s iAd Producer. Widgetbox isn’t doing anything magical, but these kinds of initiatives help address format and measurement issues necessary to open up social media ad spending.