A new scheme has been thought up where heavy users of MSN instant messaging are going to be paid to place advertising text in their user names. A Chinese company named 5Sai.com will provide short text adverts that users add to the end of their instant messaging names. Then, the company awards points to users who spend the most time online with that name.
For example, a typical ad might require the user to add the words 'Buying a train ticket or renting a house - go to KooXoo.com' to the end of their instant messaging name.
5Sai strongly maintains that this initiative represents an as of yet untapped advertising channel - one which will be very big in the future. I can just see it now:
Mickael57_Buy_Nike_Trainers: Greetings everyone.
Bigman9938_Get_viagra_cheap_with_axiom.com: Hi Mike.
Peter67_Find_a_new_job_today_at_monster_co_uk: How's it hangin?
Mickael57_Buy_Nike_Trainers: Just fine. Wazzup?
Bigman9938_Get_viagra_cheap_with_axiom.com: Just discussing last night's game.
Lukuz2774_Cheap_car_insurance: Yeah it rocked.
Currently, 5Sai claims that some $3.8m is being made available to its users via rewards and cash payments. Currently the 5Sai advertising service only supports Microsoft's MSN and Windows messenger software, and in order to qualify, users must be online for at least three hours between 9am and 6pm on weekdays to earn any points (so basically its for unemployed Internet addicts only.)