Google has announced changes to how it displays ads in Gmail, which should increase the quality of the ads, ultimately resulting in fewer ads shown per person.
Google doesn’t go into many technical details on how exactly it plans to do that, merely saying it’ll use the technology behind Priority Inbox — a recently launched Gmail feature that sorts the important, urgent messages from less important ones — to figure out which ads may be more useful to you.
“For example, if you’ve recently received a lot of messages about photography or cameras,” Google says, “a deal from a local camera store might be interesting. On the other hand, if you’ve reported these messages as spam, you probably don’t want to see that deal.”
The change will first be shown to a small number of users, and Google plans to roll it out more widely with further improvements. If you do get the new feature, you will be able to control from the Gmail Settings page how Google uses the signals that determine which ads are shown.
As always, Google points out that ads in Gmail are fully automated, that no humans read users’ messages and that no messages or personally identifiable information about users are shared with advertisers.
Check out a short video introducing the new feature below.
We have been talking in class a lot about the future of advertisements and how the era portrayed in the movie Minority Report may not actually be too far from our grasp. As time has gone by we have seen advertisements change as quickly or not faster than society. As more and more technologies and products to improve life are formed and introduced into society, people have become more picky and opinionated about what they consume. Advertisers know that in order to make their message heard and to make it relevant, it needs to find the right audience. If I live in the city and find an ad for fertilizer for my garden, I am more than likely going to ignore it or become annoyed with it. To me this ad is irrelevant and pointless. I want to see something that would actually get my attention. This is what Google is doing with Gmail. I think that this is definitely something that is called for and that advertisers will be grateful for the help that Google is providing them to help find their target audience and be at their most profitable.