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.