IM Platform Meebo Tries Shareable Ads

Browser-based IM platform Meebo has come up with an ad format that allows its users to easily share advertiser assets, for instance movie trailers, branded crossword puzzles, or product photos.

The new “MediaBar” ad unit is an expandable 728 x 90 banner that appears at the bottom of the browser window and supports video, games, news, or other content. Once a person is exposed to an ad, an icon is saved in their application menu interface, after which he or she has the option to share it with contacts. Meebo users can also personalize their IM experiences with branded backgrounds, buddy icons, and emoticons provided by its advertisers.

Initial advertisers include Havaianas, Sony Electronics, Universal Pictures, and the band Weezer. Meebo plans to sell the MediaBar using both a CPM and performance-based pricing.

At any point in the session, users can close the banner to opt out, and will not see ads until the next login, Meebo said.

Meebo also plans to expand advertising through its partner program, which has resulted in chat windows on sites like CNET, blip.tv Showtime and NBC Universal. It has begun selling text ads within many of those chat windows for publishers that want them. Revenue is shared with partners, who can dictate the frequency of ad placement.

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