Earlier this week, social bookmarking and voting website Digg.com introduced a new way that they plan on monetizing their website. There will be sponsored advertisements appearing on the homepage and in the Digg stream starting in a few months.
“The more an ad is Dugg, the less the advertiser will have to pay. Conversely the more an ad is buried, the more the advertiser is charged, pricing it out of the system,” wrote Mike Maser, Digg’s Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer. “Digg Ads will appear alongside stories in the river. The sponsored content will look and feel similar to regular Digg content, but will be clearly marked as sponsored. It may link to stories, video trailers, independent product reviews ? many of the same types of content you see on Digg every day. The goal here is to give advertisers a way to present content related to their brands and get immediate input on whether it?s relevant to the Digg audience, or not.”
The advertisements will be labeled as sponsored and there will be links to trailers, websites, and product reviews.
As much as an interesting idea this is, I strongly believe that it could have its consequences. The Digg community is extremely sensitive about the type of content that appears on the homepage. The community seems to have a bit of a liberal bias and prefer to use Apple products over Microsoft. Let’s say that Microsoft puts an ad into the stream, it is more than likely that more users will bury the ad. This takes more money away from Microsoft’s pockets.
From what it sounds like, Digg will be doing some rigorous testing to make sure that there aren’t too many flaws with the system.
The above picture is a screenshot of what an ad in the stream may look like. You will notice that there is a Sims 3 ad in the top right and an article in the stream.