Google launched Friend Connect back in early 2008 as a means for website owners to turn their sites into homegrown mini social networks. The service allowed users to login and connect with the other people browsing the site through various widgets.
Fast forward to today, and Google has expanded Friend Connect to include an “Interests” section. Its primary purpose is to capture pertinent information about the users browsing a site using customizable questions.
Logged in users can answer questions posed by the website owner and “connect” to others by seeing their answers (i.e. music website asks what your favorite bands are). Web site owners can also send newsletters infused with content it collects in the site’s “Interests” section.
Further, the update allows website owners to collect information from its user base so it can serve up ads tailored to their interests using the “AdSense” widget—making this a huge selling point for owners to adopt the system on their sites.
Do you use Friend Connect? Would you use it knowing site owners are collecting information to serve you ads?
Ads are a necessary evil when browsing the net. We all see them, we all browse right past them, but it looks like the powers that be are working on new and inventive ways to shove them in our faces.
The latest concoction brewed up by the folks at Pixazza, Inc. is a tool that turns items in pictures into clickable links (presumably to a virtual check-out with that item). And, while supposedly the backend for implementing this feature is a bit complicated, the user interface is intuitive. Visitors to a site will be able to simply move their mouse over an image to reveal any additional information they might want, via a pop-up tab.
So, if you see Scarlett Johansson wearing some sweet shades, and you’re looking to get yourself a pair, look no further then the pop-ups that will soon accompany your images.
The writing has been on the wall since back in 2007, and now it's official - Google's AdSense for Games is ready to be rolled out. The in-game ads will focus on browser-based Adobe Flash games, giving web-based game developers and publishers the ability to integrate video ads, image ads, or text ads in a variety of placements, including in between level changes.
Today's launch will see Adsense for Games introduced in about two dozen games from publishers Konami, Playfish, Zynga, Demand Media, Mochi Media, and more. To be eligible, Google requires publishers have a minimum of 500,000 game plays with 80 percent of traffic originating from the U.S. or U.K. The application also stipulates that the content must be family safe and targeted at users age 13 and up.
How receptive online gamers will be to the new ads remains to be seen, but an earlier report on the topic suggests there probably won't be any angry mobs à la Spore/Amazon. In a survey of 400 gamers, Macrovision found that 83 percent would have no problem watching a 30-second ad in exchange for free game play, although they probably weren't thinking about Flash based games.
Thoughts on Adsense for Games? Hit the jump and let us know!
In-game advertising is the need of the hour as game production costs continue to mount. Additionally, it presents a huge opportunity to companies like Google with valuable ad brokering experience. The contextual ads giant is keen on leaving its mark in the fledgling in-game advertising market, too. It has been polishing its “AdSense for Games” service – first announced in 2007 – for quite some time now.
It has developed a new technology specifically for in-game advertising. However, if the initial information about the new technology is to be believed, Google’s in-game ads might not be all that subtle but a tad intrusive: imagine a game’s central character abruptly interrupting the game with something like “and now a word from our sponsor” or “the game continues after the following message.” Google has its task cutout as Double Fusion, IGA Worldwide, Microsoft’s Massive, MochiMedia and NeoEdge Networks are already in the fray.
Colossi like Google almost always telegraph their foray into a new market with an acquisition. And Google honored the tradition by acquiring in-game advertising company Adscape for $23 million in February, 2007 and announced its ambitions.
Do you think that video ads are intrusive and subtly placed ads should be persisted with, or am i the only one making all the fuss?
Google has just made a new addition to its bouquet of internet properties. Its answer to Wikipedia, Knol, is now in open beta. Unlike Wikipedia where every author has no choice but to be self-effacing, Knol keeps the author in the foreground and well in control of his/her work. It will solely depend on an author whether he wants his Knols to be accompanied by ads – of which he will be a beneficiary – and if he wants to heed a call for modifications or edits to his article.
Knol also allows authors to collaborate on a certain article if they so desire. The media hasn’t really received Google’s announcement of Knol all that well as it fears that Google’s search engine results will be biased towards Knol.
Funnily and ironically enough, it seems to be more of Google’s own version of the quintessential information-centric website or online content hubs - that promise authors a share in adsense revenues - and less of a Wikipedia rival.