Is Social Media Rampantly Monetizable?

By Ashley Hopkins | Jun 23, 2008
More Articles by Ashley

I’m asking this question because it was just debated at the OMMA Social conference that I am currently attending in New York City. When the question was first asked I thought, “Of course! Is there even room for discussion?” After hearing out the panelists, however, I must admit that I am more confused than ever.

Social media is projected to become a $7 billion industry by 2012. As advertisers tend to follow their audiences, it is only expected that they will have a sizable influence over these technologies within the next few years. In fact, one can easily see this influence by simply looking at one of the largest social networking sites to ever hit the internet: Myspace. Upon entering the site one is immediately met by a slew of banner and display ads, begging users to “click here.” One glance and it’s more than apparent that advertisers have latched on to the technology, determined to pull in revenue from its users. But is advertising as a whole moving in another direction? Will advertising in non-digital formats soon become a thing of the past?

Maybe not. Television and radio have been around for decades and they still receive advertising revenue. In fact, more people are watching TV now than in years past, further solidifying the theory that it may be the most influential medium in terms of ad sales. As Brian Wieser, a panelist participating in the debate and an SVP for Magna Global said, it is not a given that all advertisers will turn to social media.

So what’s in turn for advertising in the age of social media? Time will tell, but in the meantime I wouldn’t ignore the influence the Web has had on ads. Online ads might not finish print advertising, but it affects it more and more each day.

Let me know what you think. How influential is online advertising going to be in the realm of social media?

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