- Some Gmail users are unhappy that ads are showing up in the middle of their email inbox.
- Google usually places ads at the top of the Promotions and Social tabs in Gmail inboxes.
- The new ad placements were tested last year on mobile, and rolled out to desktop in the last month.
Some people are seeing ads show up between emails in their Gmail inbox — and they are not happy about it.
Google usually displays ads at the top of the Promotions and Social tabs in an inbox, but some ads are showing up with a green “Ad” label in the middle of emails under the Promotions tab.
A Twitter user named Rosemary H tweeted that they were “INCENSED” about the ads showing up in their inbox.
—rosemary h (@rohallma) May 3, 2023
Another Twitter user shared a photo of ads at the top and in the middle of his Promotions inbox, saying Google is “going ham” with the ads.
—Mark Irvine, illegal Eurovision voter 🇪🇺 (@MarkIrvine89) May 2, 2023
Another user named Olivia shared a screenshot with similar ad placements, and called it “a shitty experience.” They tagged Gmail in their tweet asking how to remove the ads from their inbox.
—olivia ✨ (@oliviahoskin) May 3, 2023
Another unhappy user named said the ad placements “should be illegal,” and asked for the ads to be placed at the top again.
—Connor Marshall (@Marshallc6) May 3, 2023
When I checked my personal email, I found ads between emails under my Promotions tab, and the trash button on the ads is placed further right than it is for regular emails, meaning if I was deleting emails quickly, I could accidentally click on the “Visit Site” button on the ads.
Ads do not show up on the paid version of Gmail for Google Workspace. It’s unclear if Google is testing the ad placements or if it is planning to roll out the change more widely.
“We are always experimenting with formats and working on ways to help people discover and connect with new businesses,” a Google spokesperson told Insider. “The Promotions tab shows promotional emails from businesses that people subscribe to, as well as offers and deals from companies people might like. We rolled out instream ads in the Promotions tab last year across mobile and in the past month expanded to desktop as well.”
Google depends on online ad sales for revenue, and has dominated the market for over two decades. However, a decline in ad spending due to the economic downturn is impacting large tech companies like Google, which saw its fourth-quarter ad revenue drop 3.6% year over year to $59 billion.