For Google, ads are a crucial aspect of their business model, often enabling them to offer their products and services for free. This also applies to Gmail, where many users have started to notice an increase in the number of ads being displayed.
Ads have been a part of Gmail for many years, with Google introducing them to its mobile apps a decade ago. Since then, they have continued to evolve with new placements and appearances.
In recent days, it appears that Google has increased the frequency of ads appearing in Gmail, on both mobile devices and the web.
We have noticed that Google has recently begun displaying ads within the “Updates” filter of Gmail’s inbox on mobile devices. This filter automatically categorizes emails related to orders, certain promotions, billing statements, and other important updates. Previously, it was the only default filter option without ads, and many users found it to be the most helpful.
Similar to the other tabs, Gmail has begun displaying two ads at the top of the “Updates” tab.
In addition, it seems that Gmail is also beginning to blend its ads with the list of emails under different tabs on desktop, instead of just displaying them in the main inbox.
Numerous reports on Twitter indicate that this change has occurred in the last 48 hours, but we haven’t been able to verify it in our own inbox. Some users have also reported seeing more ads than usual, instead of the typical two that Google displays.
At this time, there is no indication that Google has added a setting to modify the placement of ads in inbox lists. It’s also unclear whether this is a change that’s being implemented for all users. However, based on dozens of reports on Twitter over the past two days, it appears that some users are seeing more ads in general and ads mixed throughout their email lists under Gmail tabs. The reception to these changes seems to be predominantly negative.
Update: Google has issued a statement clarifying that it does not sell or use data from Gmail for ads and that Workspace accounts are not enabled for ads. However, the company confirms that it is currently experimenting with new formats and placements for ads.
According to a statement from Google, the company is continuously experimenting with different ad formats to help users discover and connect with new businesses. The Promotions tab in Gmail already shows promotional emails from subscribed businesses, as well as offers and deals from other companies. Last year, Google introduced instream ads in the Promotions tab for mobile devices, and recently expanded this to desktop devices as well. However, the company emphasizes that it never sells or uses data from Gmail for ads, and ads are not enabled for Workspace accounts.