Playboy Embraces Social Media

Playboy has dived head first into the social media arena, setting up partnerships with Break, Howcast, Metacafe, Veoh and YouTube.

The entertainment-lifestyle brand sees this move as a great way to leverage off of the success of “The Girls Next Door” and create the Playboy Audience Network.

Mixercast will also be developing ad-supported content and contest widgets for use on the network, which will move to short-form content franchises. This suite of marketing and interactive content widgets will be used to extend Playboy-branded experiences to social networks and also to blogs and start pages.

A talent search is currently underway on YouTube to find the 55th Anniversary Playmate.

Playboy is aiming to create more of the interactive engagement in their digital business that they’ve achieved through the high-touch world of parties, events, location-based entertainment venues, and retail stores.

Social Network App CPMs Start To Emerge

Inside Facebook has done a great job of collecting CPM/eCPM stats from a numer of app developers. Granted, this only relates to Facebook – it would be useful to get a wider view taking into account ad rates on other networks as well.

While this data only proves that the range of monetization is wide, it does provide grist for the mill of folks like Phil Morle, who has been trying to delve more deeply into this area.

[Picture courtesy of white_shadow_photography]

Google set to outopen in face/space race

Application developers are the clear winners of Google’s pending release of Open Social.

Richard MacManus explains:

Open Social is a distributed social network framework…a ‘third place’ of social networks…a set of three common APIs that allow developer to access the following core functions and information at social networks:

  • Profile Information (user data)
  • Friends Information (social graph)
  • Activities (News Feed).

 The following companies/social networks have apparently signed up to be a part of Open Social – Friendster, Hi5, LinkedIn, Ning, Oracle, Orkut, Plaxo, Salesforce and Viadeo.

So far a bunch of  Facebook app developers, including Flixster, iLike, RockYou and Slide, have also signed up.

Richard rightly points out that this is an example of Google playing to its strengths – namely creating a distributed system and owning a chunk of a space through its own platform. It will be interesting to see how Facebook and MySpace react.

While some commentators are expressing doubt that they will come to the party, it is possible that this move by Google will lead to some de facto standardization across open APIs. Standards would assist app developers greatly by reducing the friction inherent in mastering the intricacies of every set of open APIs and should lead to a much wider distribution of apps across various social networks.

Om Malik feels that Open Social is attacking Facebooks achilles heel – its quintessential closed nature. A standardised Social Networking Markup Language far outweighs a closed Facebook-only ML.