Google to include users’ names and photos in web ads

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Google explained that user names and photos will be used for ‘shared    endorsements’, which are small, one-line reviews displayed underneath a   specific advert or listing on one of Google’s services.

For example, your friends might see that you rated an album 4 stars on the   band’s Google Play page, or the +1 you gave your favorite local bakery could   be included in an ad that the bakery runs through Google.

Under the new terms of service, whenever you comment on, follow or +1 a page   while logged in with your Google account, that content can then be used   alongside relevant ads.

These endorsements will only be visible to the people you originally shared   that activity with. Most content will therefore be restricted to a specific   circle from Google+, although ratings and reviews posted on Google Play or   Google+ Local will be visible to the wider public.

“Feedback from people you know can save you time and improve results for   you and your friends across all Google services, including Search, Maps,   Play and in advertising,” said Google in a blog   post.

“This update to our Terms of Service doesn’t change in any way who you’ve   shared things with in the past or your ability to control who you want to   share things with in the future.”

Users can control the use of their profile name and photo via the shared   endorsements setting. If you turn the setting to “off,” your profile name   and photo will not show up on any ads, according to Google. The new terms,   which only apply to users aged 18 or over, will come into effect on 11   November 2013.

Facebook already features users’ names and photos in its advertising. For   example, if you post that you love Starbucks’ caramel Frappuccino on the   coffee chain’s Facebook page, Starbucks could pay Facebook to   broadcast your words to all your friends, effectively using you as a product   endorser.

Unlike Google, Facebook does not allow its users to opt out of such ads, which   it calls sponsored stories, although users can limit how their actions on   the social network are used in some other types of advertising.

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