Israeli digital crafts social network eSnips launched a new feature tonight that could change the social networking game. Called Social DNA, it's essentially a collection of personality quizzes that can serve to connect like minded users and create incredibly accurate targeting for the site's advertisements. Never heard of eSnips? The site sees more than 14 million unique visitors monthly - that's almost 3/4 of Digg's 20 million monthly uniques.
While Digg users fall primarily into the cliche 15 to 35 year old male market demographic - the fact is that they don't click on very many ads. They also don't come to the site to shop. Quite the opposite is true for eSnips users. They may be made up of the "unwashed international types" that US advertisers are said to look down on (70% of the audience is international), but they also come to the site with a willingness to buy and are a less tech savvy audience than Digg users. The less savvy people are, the more likely they are to click on ads.
More importantly, the new Social DNA feature should carry individual and aggregate eyeballs right into the hands of the eSnips ad sales team, ready to place them directly into the gaping maws of just the right advertisers. I wrote earlier today about the way that people give up their valuable personal info to MyBlogLog in exchange for a chance to see the faces of their blog's readers. Similarly, eSnips is using peoples' desire to connect with interesting strangers to access info about their users as well.
The questions asked by the quizzes are not particularly enlightening, they range from humorous to insipid, but the self-categorization they enable is good and the potential is large.
Given the size of the audience, the availability of user profiling info and the commercial-friendly atmosphere on the site - if eSnips doesn't monetize better than Digg then something is wrong with eSnips.