RockYou Affirms Monetization Services Focus with Expanded Platform

RockYou has been running advertising for other applications on Facebook and social networks for years, but the social application developer is increasing its effort in this direction. It’s launching a monetization platform that includes its existing advertising and offers features, along with virtual currency options, local advertising, and more.

It has a lot of advertising inventory, with more than 121 million monthly users in the United States — spread across its own ad partner applications on Facebook, MySpace and other social networks — and 13 billion monthly global impressions. While most companies on Facebook have chosen to either focus on building applications or providing services, RockYou’s strategy is to do both.

Called the “RockYou Monetization Platform,” the features intended to include something for everyone — and they should be pretty familiar, as much of what the platform includes, like offers, have been available since at least last year. Developers with simple quiz apps, for example, tend to make their money through banner ads; developers with social games tend to make money on virtual currency. So RockYou is making it clearer than ever that it intends to take on the wide range of other companies also trying to serve applications.

We should also note that RockYou is quite active on Facebook, this platform is intended for developers across the web, around the world. For example, the first item below, RockYou game ads, is focused on Flash game developers — the company is running rotating banner ads within these widgets. The suite’s ad inventory mostly monetizes based on cost-per-impression (CPM). More, from the company:

Display advertising

  • RockYou Game Ads: Rotating ads ideal for flash games provide increased revenue by up to 50 percent
  • RockYou Video Ads: High eCPM video and flash ads
  • RockYou Banners: Standard IAB/Facebook compliant banner ads

Virtual currency marketplace:

  • RockYou Surveys: Anonymous, spam-free surveys sourced from select brands and research firms
  • RockYou Local: Purchasable discounts sourced from over 2,500 trusted brands, retailers, and local merchants
  • RockYou Offers: Safe and Facebook-compliant free samples and subscription offers
  • RockYou Payments: Trusted and top-performing payment providers

Note that RockYou Offers, as a company spokesperson tells us, is actually a white-labeled version of Peanut Labs’ online local advertising service, Cherry Deals, which just launched last month. Peanut Labs’ sales team has gone out and sold what are essentially group-discounted local offers, so people can earn currency in an online game in exchange for receiving a coupon to a local business. Cherry Deals is the name of the product one the rest of the web. Through the partnership, RockYou will run these local ads as part of the platform on Facebook and other social networks, a company spokesperson tells us.

There’s also another feature, set to be announced later this week: in-game engagement ads. These ads will let a user do something like watch a video in exchange for virtual currency, similar to how offers work but focused on taking particular actions rather than buying something or taking a survey. We’ve been seeing more and more examples of these sorts of ads lately — Facebook has been running its own for a long time, but others, like SocialVibe, are starting to experiment with their own engagement ads for developers.

RockYou raised a $50 million fourth funding round last fall, and is rumored to have annual revenues of between $30 million and $40 million. It has also been busy building social games in the past few months, like Zoo World; today’s announcement shows that it is getting even more serious about monetization services.