MSN Messenger Serving Sponsored Text Links
When Google GMail was launched, its Google AdSense ads matched to the personal email content of users stirred quite a bit of controversy. It was the first time that such advertisements were actually targeted to the text of a private discussion, and not behavioral, local or profile targeting, as other web mail services have done in the past.
Now MSN has blown away Google GMail privacy concerns by placing sponsored text links on the MSN Messenger Instant Messaging application. Are these ads targeted to the conversations of users? Or the behavior of such registered MSN members and their web surfing history?
Just imagine the timeliness and relevancy (this is a fantasy scenario); text ads which are contextually targeted to your secure conversation, reloading every 15-30 seconds, depending on the speed and involvment of the messaging. Type in a message about asking a girl out you met in class, and get served an ad for Match.com. Make plans to take here to a nice restaurant, get served an ad for the local TGIFridays (you could do better, but I’m assuming a franchise would be advertising on MSN AdCenter).
Barry points to a thread in the works at Search Engine Watch Forums about the sponsored links get served on MSN Messenger. If the forum thread is not moving as fast as you’d like, try finding a PC with MSN Messenger and check them out for yourself. I’d be interested to find out if the current links are Yahoo Search Marketing links, as Y!SM does have a history with such desktop applications.