“We have the largest and deepest audience profiles on the web.” — David Fleck, general manager of advertising at Disqus. Translation: We’re tracking everyone who visits a website with Disqus enabled and building a profile of them based on the content of the sites they visit and any comments they leave. “Deeper” than Facebook.
“So I’m particularly excited to announce that we’re bringing our native advertising product, Sponsored Comments, to the world of programmatic and we’re doing it on a global basis. […] Starting today, Xaxis clients, which include some of the best brands in the world, will buy and place Sponsored Comments advertising across much of the Disqus network.” Translation: It’s not comment spam if we’re getting paid for it.
The only thing that’s surprising about this is how long it took for sponsored comments to happen. One more reminder that if a service is free, you are not the customer, you are the product.