Do It Yourself Ads, Friendster's Next Big Strategy?

Friendster is launching a new Do It Yourself advertising option for local businesses that would like to market on the social networking site. The new DIY program is being offered through the support of ZEDO, an ad serving company for web publishers. With the inclusion of ZEDO, Friendster is looking to keep costs down and extend its advertising capabilities without having to necessarily add staff or heavily build out its own marketing infrastructure.

This is likely the best approach for Friendster, given the current economic climate and the ongoing talks of Frienster putting itself up for sale. As Friendster has witnessed firsthand the ruthless nature of social network waning in the states, the company had spent the past few years seeking and gaining success overseas. But Friendster isn’t immune to the overall shift in advertising, which has largely affected the social networking, which has been rather reliant on ads for revenue.

A necessary change in the way in which ads are displayed and served across social networks has been a point of contention for social networks for several months now, and all the major social networks have had to make adjustments internally and for their client-facing options as well.

MySpace is probably the other notable social network that’s pertinent for this particular discussion, as it has undergone some hefty restructuring with its employees, programs and partnerships to streamline its advertising program as well. And as far as Facebook goes, the necessity to continuously update and improve its DIY ads doesn’t go unnoticed. Others still, including Trulia, have been seeking out the benefits of providing a highly localized DIY marketplace for individuals and businesses that would like to advertise within a social network setting.

To that end, Friendster will need to ensure the effectiveness of its ad server, as well as easy-to-use metrics and feedback tools. Leveraging its existing social network for the purpose of an inclusive DIY ad program can really help Friendster create a self-sustaining marketplace for local businesses. Building this out in other areas for local markets will likely add value to Friendster in the end.

To start, Friendster DIY Ads will be available globally in 75+ countries, though targeted ads are only supported in the US, Canada, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. See here for more details.