U.K.-based social network Bebo is set to roll out ad-supported
widgets - small web applications that users can embed into their
profiles - in an effort to make advertising more relevant to its
Bebo VP of Sales and Business Development Jim
Scheinman calls it "engagement marketing," designed to combine web ads
with user-directed viral marketing, reports AdWeek (via MarketingVox). "To the Beboer, they don't look at it like advertising but great content," he said.
allows users to choose from three photo-sharing widgets (for Slide,
Photobucket, and Rockyou). Ad-supported widgets will take many shapes,
like interactive games. The widgets could be classified as branded
utility, a marketing tactic.
Bebo had 1.4 million unique users in November, according to
Nielsen/NetRatings, and is aiming for 30 million by end of 2007. It
currently offers just one ad unit per page, like Facebook.