BEVERLEY HILLS, California: World number one social networking website, MySpace, has announced the roll-out of a 'hyper targeting' ad sales system, intended to ratchet up pressure on arch-rival Facebook.

News Corporation-owned MySpace says the system will enable marketers to direct their ads to more than 100 groups and sub-groups on the site, which claims around 110 million global members.

MySpace claims the pilot scheme produced click-through rates on hyper-targeted ads 300% higher than other ads on its site. Among the marketers trialling the scheme were Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Ford and Toyota.

In addition, MySpace has unveiled plans for a 'self-service' system that allows smaller scale marketers to design and launch their own ad campaigns, using logos, graphics and images. It is set to debut in the new year and will offer built-in analytics to measure performance.

MySpace had addressed the increasingly vexed question of privacy by offering users an opt-out from targeted ads.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff