Ads As Emails? The Real Reason Behind Gmail’s New Tabbed Inbox?


Google is smart – They give you everything for free, but it is not actually free. It comes with baggage – The baggage of advertisements. A feature that gives Google over 90 percent of its revenue and profits.

Few days back, I was quite excited with the introduction of new Tabbed Gmail Inbox. While the previous “primary inbox” was quite good, the new tabbed one got even better. The new inbox segregated your mails in 4 or 5 different tabs – Social, Promotions, Updates, Forms and Normal emails.

If you want to activate it, you just go to the settings menu and click on inbox settings and you should have it.

The new inbox was received quite well by most gmail users.

Gmail New Inbox

When I first experienced it, I was really quite happy with the way Google was trying to make their mail platform better for their users.

However, I forgot one detail while giving rave reviews for it –  At heart of everything that Google does, Advertisement plays a very important role.

Today I came across a tweet, that showed the real reason why Google may have introduced the new tabbed interface. Here is the screenshot that twitter user @gulliantonio posted.

gmail ads

Under the promotions tab, Google has pushed out their new advertisement format – Email as Ads.

So, if you are using the new Gmail inbox, you will probably get ads in email format. Many unsuspecting users may actually click on it thinking it is a normal email (though, to Google’s credit they do tell it is an advertisement).

While Google may still be testing this new ad format, I am sure more and more users will start seeing this new form of advertising.

One thing that everyone needs to remember when using any Google product – there is always that innocuous looking ad lurking somewhere. I am not against it, after all Google needs to make money as well.

But, users need to understand this aspect of Google, when using any of their services…always!

  1. SEO Raviraj says

    Well Google is really blend the ads portion. I don’t think that Google Ads may in Pramotion tab only i think it will in all tab but taking look to get this ……

  2. Naim says

    I initially took it a great and innovative way as my emails will be categorized by Google and sorted in different labels. But after reading this; I feel really this really must be the reason.

    Google has already been putting ads in gmail from long back on the edges and the top portion. But this is a sure shot way to peep in the inbox now.

  3. Syed Mohammed Tauseef says

    The tabbed interface is obviously really great and not many people will have problem with the ads unless they appear in tabs other than promotion tab… I dint receive any ad email till now except for those I actually subscribed for… If google does decide to push ads through email, there is always a bulk delete option:-P

  4. Raghav says

    well the Ads appear on promotions tab only and not in other tabs. so if you dont want ads from google better to disable this tab and enable the rest of them…

    1. Arun Prabhudesai says

      @raghav, I agree with you that Ads appear on promotions tabs only. And probably 10 percent of all the gmail users will do it as well. But for 90 percent of them it is just email.. They are not techies who will understand it… heck, they will now know it is a ad, if they see one “yes even if a mail is specifically marked as Ad”.. And that is where Google will be making lot of money… From folks like those..

      Also, please understand, I am not saying Google is wrong in doing this… They have to make money…they are offering you such a great mail service, they cannot afford to run it free…
      My point was only that – Moving away from primary inbox to this tabbed interface, one of the main reason might be these Ads.. thats the point of the article…
      Hope you understand!

    2. abhishek says

      if u disable a tab it doesnt mean u dnt get the emails of tht tab – it will go into ur primary inbox in tht case!

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