launches Friend$, Partners with Google AdSense to Pay Social Media Users

March 2, 2007 by Lisa Oshima | Advertising, Social Media

Italy-based social networking company, Dada S.p.A., is partnering with Google AdSense to pay users for allowing ads on their space.  Dada’s new Friend$ is an opt-in revenue sharing program that rewards users for adding friends and updating the content of their Dada space.  According to Dada, Friend$ is, “the only program that rewards you both for keeping your personal space updated (blog, video, profile, etc.) and for spreading the word by inviting friends to do the same.” The idea is that users keep their Dada space updated and invite friends to participate in Friend$.  In exchange, Google posts ads on their site/friends site, and pays users and their friends a percentage of the money generated by click-through on those ads.

I wonder how advertisers feel about this? It seems like an easy system for Dada users and their friends to exploit for revenue purposes.  If I were an advertiser, I’m not sure how excited I’d be by having people click on my ad with the express purpose of extorting me for their own/ friends’ financial well being.

Similarly, I find this whole concept a little disconcerting in that it encourages social networkers to talk about specific topics for the express purpose of generating revenue.  I feel perfectly okay about the idea of hiring paid spokespeople to talk about companies, so long as the public knows that they’re being paid.  However, I take issue with situations like this, where there are blurred lines of distinction between people talking about what they’re genuinely interested in versus talking about things they’re being paid to discuss.  It’s not Dada and Google are talking about sponsoring corporate blogs…  In a way, they’re steering kids (and adults) towards discussing specific topics their conversations, blogs, profiles, etc.  If a social networker wants to make money through Friend$, and they know which companies use Google AdSense, I suspect that it will be very easy for them to exploit the system.

What do you think?

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  • Couple of thoughts, I have sent several email to VOX about allowing ads on our VOX blogs and received no replies. So . . . . Also, I think I would like approval of the advertisers before their material appears on my blob/page. What you are describing – being paid to tout your advertisers – has come under fire in the UK and elsewhere. This appears to be the latest effort at Googleizing Edelman's flogging activities – still the same wolf in sheep's clothing. Still bogus – be it Edelman at the helm or Google.

  • [esto es genial]
    its about time…so many websites are so greedy! Keep all revenue for themselves. I wanna see a social website cross pollinate (spelling button missing) with Prosper p2p lending, and mash it with friend$…how about that sweet brain?

  • [this is good]
    Call to aaaaaaaaaaaction!



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