Google was applauded when it adopted BIMI (Brand Indicators for Message Identification) in 2021 -- BIMI allows brands to place their logos in verified emails. And the search giant drew more cheers when it recently added a blue checkbox for those emails.
But now it is hearing some booing because Gmail is showing more ads and annoying some users.
For instance, Gmail is now showing two ads at the top of its Updates tab, the filter that captures email order updates and other notifications, 9to5 Google reports.
“Dozens of reports on Twitter show the change just in the past two days, though we haven’t been able to replicate it in our own inbox,” 9to5 Google adds. But that’s the least of it.”
“Some users also report seeing more ads in general, instead of the two that Google would typically show,” 9to5 Google says.
The Verge adds that some users have “started noticing ads with obnoxious, full-size images at the top of their inboxes.”
This may be good for Google and its advertisers. But consumers and industry ethicists don’t necessarily agree.
“While ads are part of the price we pay for using Google’s services for free, some Gmail users feel that the increased number of ads is becoming a bit too much to bear,” News Nine writes.
Another user writes that “since selling your data was not enough, now they have full-sized ads in the gmail app. (recently bought shoes from a website on vpn through a secondary account; the only way google can know about that is by reading my email about order updates, and no, i did not share my email address because I use hide my email. So the merchant couldn’t have shared my information with google.”
Let’s step back for moment: The change is not all that revolutionary.
“The Updates tab is “perhaps the most useful filter of the three default options (the others being “Promotions” and “Social”), but it was also the only one without ads for a long time,” 9to5 Google notes.
Still, “if the company does decide to show more advertisements, it’s possible that an ad-free Gmail service could become a paid subscription in the future, similar to what we see with YouTube Premium,” News Nine adds.
That could change the whole ecosystem.