Viadeo announced this week that it is rolling out a new advertising opportunity on the platform, VMail, which allows advertisers to send 100% customizable messages to Viadeo users. Advertisers can target users by a variety of profile characteristics, and it seems that the message will arrive directly in the users’ personal email inbox, as well as in the inbox of the professional social network.
That Viadeo is essentially selling its database of users to advertisers is no surprise; however, it is an indicator of how bad things are going. While the 50 Million user social network counts itself ahead of Germany’s Xing (due to strong market penetration in Asia) and behind LinkedIn, something tells me that the recruiters aren’t lining up to use Viadeo, and the premium accounts just aren’t that interesting to users, as much as they are annoying.
One of the most annoying features – the fact that you can’t even look at someone’s public profile without having an account – was recently replicated by LinkedIn, though it seems LinkedIn’s efforts were in order to convince users to search for people on their service instead of Googling “Linkedin + [NAME]” and clicking through.
“With VMail, we are giving our partners the perfect communication tool, enabling a deeper connection between advertisers/brands and our users” – Sébastien Naji, Directeur Marketing Solutions Europe