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DIGITAL MARKETING NEWS

Yahoo publishes ad patent targeting influential users

Yahoo has published a patent that details a system where online ads are charged based on the viewer's social influence.

Got Klout? Cash up

The system, called “social reputation ads” was filed in December 2011 but has only been published this week. 

Under social reputation ads, users would be assigned a score based on their social influence, presumably based on metrics such as Facebook subscribers and Twitter followers (similar to the way Klout assigns social standing.)

“The level of social influence may be based upon factors such as the number of followers of the user, the number of contacts of the user, and/or the title of the user,” the patent reads.

The way the cookie crumbles

While browser-tracking cookies have long allowed marketers to display relevant ads to users, Yahoo's patent marks the first time social has been used in this way.

The update is part of a sweeping set of reforms Yahoo is exploring as it attempts to get back on an even footing with more successful competitors like Google.

Will social reputation ads allow marketers a new way to benefit from virtual word-of-mouth or result in a bidding way between brands? Time will tell. 

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