Wednesday, December 5, 2007 Launches Ad Program For Social Networking Site Applications

by Tanya Irwin, Wednesday, Dec 5, 2007 7:30 AM ET
ADVERTISERS CAN NOW REACH SOCIAL networking audience via popular applications thanks to the launch of's new WIDGNET services program.

The program enables developers of Facebook applications to join the company's massive ad network and earn advertising revenue from their creations. is currently only working with Facebook application developers, but plans to expand to other Web widgets in the future, said Brent Halliburton, director of network strategy for

"We are continuing to align ourselves with widget infrastructure providers and other platforms to expand the scope of WIDGNET," he told Online Media Daily.

Facebook applications and their equivalents on other social networking sites are often called "widgets" or "gadgets." These mini-applications, which users embed into their personal pages, range from interactive games to stock quote generators to photo manipulation tools. More than 9,900 are currently available to Facebook users alone, representing 453,589,160 individual installs and approximately 600,000,000 page views daily.

By incorporating banner advertisements served by into the application format, the WIDGNET program will provide developers with a way to monetize their creations. Advertisers, in turn, will have new opportunities to target consumers in a social network environment.

Revenue varies depending on the quality and volume of inventory a widget developer is able to make available, Halliburton said. "Typically, we initiate our relationship with application developers on a revenue share basis to ensure our interests are closely aligned," he said. "Generally, we feel that's strong marketplace of advertisers allow us to offer the highest eCPMs in the market."

Through the WIDGNET program, creators of these applications will gain access to's advertiser base. Publishers range from independent developers to established companies such as RockYou, Scrabulous and Fotoflexer whose customizable widgets include photo slideshows, photo and image editing, glitter text, voicemail accessories and games.

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