This Could Be Next: Google SocialSense


Recently, Facebook was slammed for its implementation of Beacon and Social Ads. Many found the practice of tracking Facebook friends’ interaction with commerical Facebook pages, apps or company Web and e-commerce sites invasive and creepy. Many wondered how the user benefited from a commerical entity using its image and social presence to push products.

I wonder what the reaction from users might be if publishers like Facebook and Google created a clear opt-in social advertising program that compensated the socially networked for acting as a virtual spokesperson for companys’ long tail peer-to-peer marketing.

What if there was an AdSense-like program in which I could align myself with brands I genuinely like and be compensated any time an ad touting my interaction with those brands was shown in the networks and social circles I’m actively engaged in or in sponsored search listings if someone Googled me?


With recent news that Google will launch a Social Search service, this could be really interesting and deliver a return on involvement for Web users.


3 Responses to “This Could Be Next: Google SocialSense”

  1. Nice post Amanda. IMHO, the really creepy thing about Beacon (and Social Sense potentially) is the “blind” nature of machine knowledge. I may go to and buy a bunch of coffee and gift cards around the holidays to give to colleagues, but that doesn’t mean I love Starbucks. I may not even like coffee (I do). So, until they’re able to give me a dashboard to control what/where these social ads are displayed (at a very granular level), I’ll probably opt out.

    With that said, I think social search is the next big thing. I posted today about the Microsoft/Yahoo news and how the piece could prove to be the big kahuna in the deal. With the news that you link to about Google’s new initiative in this area, it’s not surprising they’re trying to block the deal. ;-)

  2. Hi Jim,
    I definitely think that there would have to be major controls with this and a dashboard to manually control what kinds of ads are displayed is a good first step. I imagine that it wouldn’t be random, but a user would opt into ads in the same manner a traditional search advertiser creates and manages its sponsored search listings.

    Really enjoyed your post on the Microsoft/Yahoo news. Will be interesting to watch this. I’m still catching up on all of the details so I’m not sure where I stand on it but you give a nice roundup of the opportunity and considerations.

    BTW reading We are Smarter Than Me. Fantastic book!

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