MySpace harnesses data mining to boost revenues

LONDON - MySpace, the Rupert Murdoch-owned social networking giant, is to use sophisticated data-mining software to tailor advertising to its 110 million users.

The site has been trialling technology over the past six months that will enable it to offer advertisers a customised service.

According to the report, the technology improves the likelihood of members clicking on ads by an average 80%. MySpace owner Fox Interactive Media is planning to address investors and analysts about the technology at a conference in Los Angeles next Tuesday.

The technology will cause monthly advertising revenue from the site to shoot up from $40m to $70m, according to Richard Greenfield, managing director of Pali Research.

The technology combines details of a user’s group membership, personal interests and even personal heroes to formulate detailed portraits that can be used by advertisers to target ads. The technology is monitored every fortnight by "relevance testers", to ensure that the targeting is accurate.

Data mining to enable customised advertising is also being trialled by MySpace rival Facebook, backed by Microsoft. Elsewhere, magazines such as Cosmo and Esquire are using services such as AdMomentum from FAST Search and Transfer to make money out of social networks attached to their websites.

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