New Gmail Ad Suggests Google+ Monetization

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ADOTAS – Although Google has been promising better (and fewer) ads in its email client for months now, evidence of progress has been scant. However, Big G might have been holding off as it prepared social network (or the less-sexy description: core product socialization) Google+, as a new ad unit appearing in Gmail now boasts potential for Google’s latest foray into the social mediascape.

Hat tip to LeadsCon and Daily Deal Summit founder Jay Weintraub for noticing that Gmail has added this cute new ad unit — no, it’s not a display or rich media ad targeted off the contents of your email (I’m afraid I’d be inundated with trailers for “Winnie the Pooh” — I can’t help calling everyone “tiggerific”) as you may have feared. It’s a Facebook display ad.

I mean, that’s not the name of the unit, but it really looks like a Facebook ad — it’s even got a (functional) black X in the corner allowing a user to close it (and presumably sending the “dislike” of the ad back to its source).

But there are differences — instead of a landing page, the ad expands inside the browser with sharing and saving options. Once Google+ introduces brand pages, a “Like”-seque button will probably also appear.

Weintraub already sees where this is going — a lot of us were wondering how Google was planning to monetize Google+, and it looks like they’re going the Facebook route… Which is arguably what the company did in building Google+ — take the Facebook model and flesh out the weaker points (Circles is leaps and bounds beyond Facebook Groups). What’s that old saying about imitation and flattery?

Expandable landing pages would seem to be an improvement on the Facebook ad model — one that could entice brands and their big budgets.

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