Digg To Make Online Advertising More User-Relevant

Many of us have probably got tired of clicking those tiny thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons next to the ads that appear on our Facebook home pages. However, the site that is actually implementing changes based on such actions by users is Digg, who have announced that they will charge a lower cost-per-click for ads that […]

Many of us have probably got tired of clicking those tiny thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons next to the ads that appear on our Facebook home pages. However, the site that is actually implementing changes based on such actions by users is Digg, who have announced that they will charge a lower cost-per-click for ads that seem to go down well with users, and will let them stay up longer. Conversely, those ads that users indicate they dislike will be charged more, and will have less likelihood of a long screen life.

From the New York Times technology blog:

“The premise behind this platform is that we are going to do for ads what we did for news,” said Jay Adelson, Digg’s chief executive. “Like everything else about Digg, we want to bring users into the conversation and let the advertising be content in ways that will allow for a much richer experience and will really amplify the effectiveness of ads for media buyers.”

But the notion could be potentially dangerous, especially if it gives the notoriously unruly Digg community an opportunity to broadly express its anticommercial sentiments. What happens if users just vote down every ad?

Mr. Adelson seems aware of that possibility, and says the company will start slowly this year — with advertisers like Electronic Arts and Intel — and rigorously test the system over the rest of the year. “Users like advertising that is different and more relevant and more directly targeted better than distracting, boring, traditional ads,” he said. “The bottom line is, we are going to launch this, we are going to iterate, we are going to listen to what users say and if they have concerns we have ways and plans to deal with it.”

[Via the New York Times]

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