Om Malik reports on the staggering growth of MySpace traffic, while this Guardian Unlimited article challenges how the site will make money in the face of recent bad PR, lack of a (clear public) monetization strategy and the historic failures of social networking sites. An interesting debate.
Back in February, we pointed out that the site is indeed sitting on a goldmine of traffic but that it must figure out a way to serve up ads that are targeted enough to not be seen as intrusive.
This challenge is exacerbated by the fact that the "MySpace generation" (the site’s average user age is 18) is one that is fickle and can easily stray if it sniffs out a hidden strategy to slap corporate marketing in front of it. There is also some delicacy required in altering the user experience that this generation has erstwhile seen as being free of parents, teachers and corporate sponsorship.
It will be an interesting challenge for MySpace, for which acute targeting will play an important role. Geotargeting could eventually play a part in addition to behavioral or contextual advertising, meaning it could have some relevance for local (think event calendars, concerts, movie tickets, bars and restaurants for the dating contingent). We'll be watching closely.