Media6Degrees Claims to Harness the Social Graph for Advertisers

Media 6 Degrees LogoA new start-up claims to be in a position to turn lead into gold using “the emerging field of” social media.  “$1 Spent With Media6Degrees Client Generates $7 in Transactional Revenue,” blares the headline of the press release announcing the “Commercial Launch Based on the Strength of Beta Tests” for this company, which provides very little information beyond the names of a star-studded management team, team of investors and board of advisors on its web site.

So what are they actually selling?  It’s a little tough to figure out, but it sounds like they are trying to deliver targeted ad impressions using a blend of behavioral tracking and something they call “network neighbors”.  They explain the technology on their privacy policy page:

““Network neighbors” are generally two or more people that visit the same website pages while surfing the Internet. For example, a network neighbor might be someone whose social networking profile page you’ve visited, or someone that visits the same website that you visit. Network neighbors are likely to share many similar interests, hobbies and other key demographic characteristics with you. Moreover, we believe that if you’re interested in a particular product or service, your network neighbors are likely to also be interested in that product or service. Therefore, by understanding who your network neighbors are and what they like, our Technology enables us to do a better job determining which online advertisements are likely to be of interest to you.”

In order to make all this work, the company needs to collect something called a PII – personally identifiable information that users “choose to” provide them.

There doesn’t seem to be a clear benefit to users for participating in Media6Degree-powered programs, and it’s unclear whether users will even be aware that they are being tracked in this way.  That said, advertisers will always be interested in more effective ways of delivering a message to interested prospects.  We’ll be tracking this start-up to see how it develops its solutions.