Gmail is putting ads in the middle of users’ inboxes
While Gmail has long placed ads at the very top of the Promotions and Social inboxes, it never dared to stick them in between messages. The new placement makes it even more confusing to distinguish between actual emails and ads, even if the promotions have the little green “Ad” icon placed next to them. It’s not clear if this is some kind of test or a gradual rollout. (I’m not seeing ads scattered within any of my inboxes just yet.)
Additionally, in recent weeks, some users on the client’s mobile app have also started noticing ads with obnoxious, full-size images at the top of their inboxes.
Google’s website currently doesn’t indicate whether it sells ads placed smack-dab in the middle of inboxes, with one support page saying that Gmail offers “expandable ads at the top of people’s tabs.” Another page about Google’s Discovery campaigns shows an example of a Gmail ad that, once again, appears at the top of a user’s inbox.
In response to one user’s concerns about the middle-of-the-inbox ad placements on Twitter, the official Gmail account vaguely said that “doesn’t sound good” and directed them to a support page that explain how ads work. The Verge reached out to Google with a request for more information, and we’ll update this article if we hear back.