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
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)
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(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.