Updated

Online media widget-maker Slide is announcing a new way for advertisers to reach the 129 million viewers it has across social networks each month (see Comscore table from May, below).

The San Francisco, Calif.-based company’s widgets let users create and display photo slideshows and a wide range of other information from within their profiles on MySpace, Facebook and other sites. But like its widget rival RockYou, it is searching to exploit huge user base to make money. RockYou recently released its own ad network on Facebook.

Today, Slide will begin allowing users to incorporate photos and video clips from films into these widgets. As users create slideshows, they will have the option to add sponsored advertising images to them. Featured advertisers include Paramount Pictures, AT&T Wireless, Activision and the Discovery Channel, the company tells us.

When one thinks of all the college students with posters of Al Pacino on their dorm-room walls, this idea starts sounding plausible. AT&T will sponsor a slideshow that plays a ringtone when a user opens a page with a slideshow on it.

In the past, Levchin has worried aloud that ads could drive users to other widget-makers without ads. Allowing Slide users to choose ads for themselves is a compromise between monetizing and staying sensitive to users’ wishes.

The risk is that users won’t actually want to add this advertising, Levchin said; still, Levchin hinted of an initial public offering as early as next year if these efforts to monetize pay off.

However, MySpace still won’t Slide’s ads be displayed on its site, per its ban on all third-party developers including their own advertising.

Arch-rival RockYou announced its ad network last week — but just for the applications it has on Facebook; its idea is to help other Facebook applications launch by advertising to Facebook users who decide to first add Rockyou’s own applications.


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