Advertisers Lukewarm on Social Sites

Networking, video-sharing users not prime marketing targets

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 5, 2008 3:15 PM CST

(Newser) – Facebook and YouTube are runaway success stories when it comes to attracting Internet users, but they lag in attracting ad dollars, the Wall Street Journal reports. Advertising on social networking and video-sharing sites is relatively new, and therefore most vulnerable if economic worries lead to advertising cutbacks. Firms also worry about their ads appearing next to unsuitable content.

Google's boss says cracking the combination for selling ads on YouTube has "taken longer than I thought," but he's still confident of long-term success. Warnings that social sites may not be cash cows may cast doubt on the wisdom of the proposed Microsoft/Yahoo merger. Microsoft is already thought to be losing money on its deal to sell ads on Facebook.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II posts her traditional Christmas greeting on YouTube. Videos on the site are not always as staid as the Queen's greeting, and Google admits it has been difficult finding the...   (Getty Images (by Event) Individuals)
Social networking sites have seen their popularity explode in recent years, but Internet giants Microsoft and Google are finding that attracting advertising spend is proving more challenging than attracting...   (Getty Images)
The August, 20-27 double issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, August 13), "The Facebook Effect" looks at how Facebook, the wildly popular networking site is growing up and facing new challenges to...   (Associated Press)
LinkedIn Chairman and founder Reid Hoffman poses for a photo at his company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2007. LinkedIn is an online business-networking service that helps professionals...   (Associated Press)
LinkedIn Chairman and founder Reid Hoffman poses for a photo at his company headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., on Sept. 28, 2007. LinkedIn is an online business-networking service that helps professionals...   (Associated Press)
YouTube international manager Sakina Arsiwala speaks to media during a press conference in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2008. Video-sharing Web site YouTube said Wednesday it has launched a...   (Associated Press)
Google CEO Eric Schmidt gestures while speaking during a working session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in this Jan. 25, 2008 file photo. Schmidt called Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang Friday...   (Associated Press)
Facebook and other social networking sites have become hugely popular, but ad spend isn't growing at the same rate. Advertising on social networking and video-sharing sites is still experimental for many...   ((c) wsh1266)
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