Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Here's What a Display Ad in Your Gmail Looks Like

It looks like any other ad you’d typically ignore on the Web!

This screenshot comes from Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land, who got Google to acknowledge that yes, it is indeed playing around with conventional-looking Web ads in its mail service, which typically only offers text ads: “We’re always trying out new ad formats and placements in Gmail, and we recently started experimenting with image ads on messages with heavy image content.”

Sterling’s post sent many of us Web/ad nerds scurrying to our Gmail accounts to see if we could find evidence of Google’s experiment, but I have yet to see any others. If you find one, please pass it along to me at (peter@allthingsd.com) and I’ll share it with everyone else.

Here’s another example, courtesy of Shyam Somanadh. His pithy description: “First image ad in my Gmail right panel. I had a sudden Hotmail moment there.”

And a broken ad, from Nicholas Wilhelm’s phone:

And one from Hunter Hebert:

And Jeremy Day:

And Rob McAninch:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work