MySpace, after offering its hyper-targeting platform to large advertisers, today launched MyAds, a self-service platform that would open its social network to smaller advertisers. It is a page out of Google’s (s GOOG) playbook. The search giant had used smaller advertisers to build up a groundswell for its advertising service. MySpace is betting that, by giving advertisers the ability to target users with banner ads based on age, gender, location and specific interests, it can build a sizable business. “We think the sky’s the limit on this,” Jeff Berman, president of sales and marketing at MySpace, told Adweek. He seems to think that this will “significantly grow our base of advertisers.”
The company said that the entire network inventory is open for grabs. More than 3,500 advertisers, including small businesses, are testing the system and the ads cost at least 25 cents per click. Given the patchy click-through performance of banner ads, MySpace’s experiment can have long-term implications for banner-type advertising. That said, MySpace’s announcement comes at a time when the advertising market — both online and off — is looking a little shaky because of widespread economic uncertainty.