Google’s Gmail update last week came with a few useless tabs – but my sneaky suspicion that the search company was up to no good came true when news leaked that they were placing ads into the promotions tab as actual emails. Google, in their own defensive statement, alluded to the fact that ads are needed to power the free email service, but it doesn’t alleviate the feeling that their idea of a “better experience” means just the opposite.
As always, advertising keeps Google and Gmail free to use. We work hard to make ads safe, unobtrusive, and relevant. Instead of ads always appearing at the top of your inbox, they’ve been relegated to a more appropriate place in your Promotions tab to create a better overall experience.
The ads were spotted by Twitter user antonio.gulli, who tweeted, “Ads in GMAIL – sent as normal emails. Anyone else saw this?”
This would be a different story if the tabs were actually useful. They don’t work well with the existing organizational labels – even if you place promotional emails into a “folder” they still sit in the promotional tab, clogging up my screen. My personal emails are slipping into the giant pile of “promotional” junk that doesn’t even get counted as “inbox” material. In short, Google gave us a new ad experience without any functional experience.