This sickens me, seeing Google completely slice up my inbox into tabs and tell ME what I think should be considered ‘promotional’ and what should be primary. Meanwhile, instead of sending spammy ad emails to the Spam folder where they belong, actually allowing companies to pay them in order to get their messages forced into my inbox disguised as e-mails.
That’s right. Google is now making money from your inbox by injecting their own ‘Google Approved’ SPAM emails you never signed up for. Terrible!
Those who are starting to see this change in the G-mail inbox will notice there are now tabs showing at the top of your inbox. This splits your inbox into multiple inboxes… one called “Primary” which are e-mails that Google thinks are important to you and aren’t promotional. Social, which are all e-mails and notifications you get from Facebook, Twitter, etc. , and the dreaded new tab… titled PROMOTIONS. There’s also a ‘FORUMS’ tab and a few others that can be enabled as well.
Here’s the problem, the promotions tab is essentially any e-mail Google hasn’t marked as spam already, that it thinks is a promotion. The biggest issue I have with this is that it thinks any newsletter e-mail which you have CONFIRMED opted into, such as newsletters from your favourite blogs, etc. get thrown into this filtered Promotions inbox, among junky promotional e-mails… and one’s that have snuck by the spam filter because they paid Google to let them.
Newsletters that I explicitly sign up for are not spam, nor are they necessarily ‘promotional’. And having them show in this tab will HURT open rates for people who are spending time putting together quality, valuable content for their readers.
G-mail already has filters, and has a wonderful LABELING system. You can easily filter e-mails into your own labels, browse those labels like folders, there are many many ways to sort your inbox yourself. Google should only focus on keeping spam out of my inbox and let me sort my inbox the way I want it sorted. And let me check one inbox instead of 3+ separate inboxes.
The Bottom Line
The problem is two-fold:
1) Essentially the promotions tab becomes a Google-approved advertising spam box mixed with your own emails. I think this sets a bad precedent. It’s like the issue with AdBlock Plus (the plugin for blocking ads) where they were recently under fire for accepting cash from companies to let their ads slip past the filters. This is what Google is doing, blocking out spam e-mails that don’t pay the piper so-to-speak, but if you pay.. they’ll let you slip by what would normally be considered spam and let you go right into the inbox, pinned at the top!
2) The tabs themselves (they are essentially like Labels but just pre-set for you – which in of itself should not be forced on people and let them come up with their own tabs or be able to make labels into tabs would be neat) – but more importantly it’s that e-mails are being filtered OUT of the inbox into the promotions tab which is less checked and less visible.. WITHOUT the user telling gmail to put it in there. So emails from newsletters or forums for example will show up in those tabs while most users won’t even know to check those.
Keep in mind, Google’s Gmail is a free service. I’m fine with monetization from ads that appear off to the side. Hey, because it’s a free service, I expect ads. I want Google to make money to be able to support the fantastic free services they provide me (Gmail, Calendar, Docs, etc). But now they are getting put right into my inbox mixed in with my normal e-mail messages. Not cool in my opinion.
Reactions from users
How to turn this off
Click on the [+] icon beside the tabs, to alter which tabs are activated… and TURN THEM OFF by unchecking ‘Social’ and ‘Promotions’ and click save.
Or, if you want to keep the tabsn, then when you see an e-mail from a newsletter or valuable source, click and drag it into the Primary tab so that Gmail will now sort it and put it into that tab from now on.
If you can… switch back to the OLD G-mail if it is still giving you the chance to switch back.
This is an industry changing move from Google, and one that I definitely do not support. It is a marketer’s nightmare for legitimate marketing newsletters and messages from services that need you to view it in your inbox, while you’ll probably miss the e-mail if it gets sorted into the “Promotions” tab.
Shame on Google. I want my inbox to be free of junk ads, not full of Google-approved ones!
What do YOU think of this? Comment below!