Short, concise description of the idea
Users should get extra userpics if they allow ads to be placed on those userpics.
Full description of the idea
This suggestion is a compromise of this suggestion for unlimited userpics for all users. Lots of users want more LJ features, the topmost want being more userpics, yet many users don't want to pay for these features. Sponsored userpics is a way to satisfy the needs of both LJ and these users!
A 50x50 pixel section of every sponsored userpic could be turned into ad space. When uploaded, LJ server will overlay the ad onto your chosen userpic corner. (This helps combat icon banner blindness!) An imagemap could be employed to make the ad clickable while preserving the proper link for the rest of the icon.
Sponsored userpics will have to be limited to the amount advertisers are willing to pay for, but they have great potential to increase the amount of userpics nonpaid users can get, as the more ad clicks a user generates from their sponsored icons, the more icons they will be allowed to have.
- Users get more icons for free!
- Puts ads in the middle of highly viewed content, where they are more effective.
- LJ gets more money and is seen as a brave new leader in social media monetization!
- Unlike banner ads, these are difficult to block using simple solutions like AdBlock, and if a user does block them, they end up blocking userpics and reducing server and bandwidth load.
- Paid users might object to seeing ads on icons; it might be possible to show them the original icon instead.
- The processing required to put ads on icons creates extra server load.
- There might not be enough advertising to supply demand at first, because this is a nonstandard format that will require lots of effort from LJ marketing sales to sell.