SocialVibe has officially launched with a service that allows users to display advertising on their social network profile or site, with money earned going back to their charity of choice.
The official spin is that "SocialVibe is designed to enable interaction between people, the brands they love and the causes they are passionate about," which roughly translated to you get to pic which ads you show. Where it's different is that instead of getting paid, users nominate a charity (from a predefined list) where any profits from the ad go. Members can also earn perks, including "one-of-a-kind travel experiences, high-end gadgets and access to exclusive events."
The site has been in public beta testing since February 2008 and has already donated more than $30,000 to 14 charities. Current SocialVibe partners (advertisers) include Coca-Cola, NBA, Sprint and Nestlé.
We've seen the rise of giving sites, but I'm not sure I've seen something quite like this before. Advertising for a good cause has a nice ring to it and may well find favor among younger social networking users.