Google is using its latest inbox redesign to stick ads in the holiest of places: Right inside your Gmail inbox. Under the promotions tab — one of three sections in the new tabbed version of Gmail — Google has started sticking ads disguised as emails, as first noticed by Venture Beat's Ricardo Bilton. See, it's just right there in the inbox, looking like a regular e-mail. But, it's an ad:
The paid-message opens up like a regular e-mail. Only once inside the message, does it give the option to opt-out of that particular ad. Essentially, it's Google approved junk-mail — like we need more of that.
Lucky for all of us, there is one way to escape this new e-mail ad hell-scape: disable the promotions tab. Due to outrage from users the last time it changed up its inbox, Google made this one optional. The inbox tab under settings lets users pick and choose their tabs. So, to stop seeing promoted emails, just uncheck the promotions box:
If you happen to appreciate the promotions tab for siphoning off all those Living Social and Groupon emails, then you're stuck with occasional e-mail ads. Google claims the promotions tab is a more "appropriate place" for ads that used to appear at the above the inbox or on the side rail, the company said in a statement:
Instead of ads always appearing at the top of your inbox, they’ve been relegated to a more appropriate place in your Promotions category. In addition, we’ve raised the quality of these ads and won’t show you an ad unless it’s relevant — which means you may sometimes see no ads at all in your Promotions tab. You can also dismiss the ads you see in your Promotions tab by clicking the “X” button on the right-hand side.
With the company looking for new ways to make money off of its old ad model, that trickster of an ad certainly is a more appropriate place to stick its already very present paid messages. An advertiser is charged when a user opens up the e-mail, says Marketing Land's Ginny Marvin. The message does say "Ad" in tiny letters below it, but it's a lot harder to ignore than some messages flanking the inbox. Putting the messages right in the inbox guarantees most people will at least skim the subject line, some people might sub-consciously even open all their emails. So, yeah, by that metric, this is more appropriate.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.