Bucking the trend whereby advertisers are shying away from social networking sites, demand on LinkedIn is so strong that the site has decided to roll out its own ad network.
Announced today, the career-oriented social networking site for professionals will begin selling ads on partner sites, ads that specifically target its affluent user base.
TechCrunch explains how the system will work:
Whenever someone visits LinkedIn, a cookie will be placed on their browser, which will identify them as a LinkedIn member when they visit a partner site. Personally identifying information will be removed, but members will be grouped into different, targetable categories.
LinkedIn calls these targetable categories "InCrowds," such as "corporate executive" or "IT professional." CNet reports that advertisers on the LinkedIn Audience Network will have the option of targeting any one of these, or can create their own.
All good so far.
However, TechCrunch notes that, in a move reminiscent of Facebook's Beacon fiaco, users will only be given the option to opt-out. In other words, participating in the LinkedIn Audience Network is opt-in by default.
Although, unlike Beacon, participation is unlikely to spoil anyone's Christmas.