When you are surfing the internet at home, you will come across a variety of adverts. This has become a part of your online experience. However, some people are not happy with the ads that are being pushed to their web browsers, particularly if they have children. Google has recognized this and in early 2021, they are allowing internet users to have some control over the adverts that come to their screens. This is starting with YouTube.
Importance of Ads to Silicon Valley’s Platforms
Advertising is an essential revenue stream for social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn , etc. This is the case for both the companies which run them and for the people which use them. Monetising content has been an increasingly important point in the rise of creators on platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Vine, Twitter, etc. – everywhere anyone can post.
Creators have large followings. They craft videos, tweets, and memes, for instance, which thousands and thousands – if not more should the content go viral and break beyond the creator’s network – of people can consume and engage with. The difficulty with these platforms is it’s very hard to earn a living from the posts alone. TikTok and Snapchat are trying to upend this trend and are implementing funds which will be distributed throughout their community to creators which fit the criteria. This is a fund created from the company itself – no outside extras. It is part of the ecosystem, so to speak.
Creators seek sponsorships. Brands will pay a creator to give them or their product a “shoutout” in a dedicated post or during a video or a livestream. They can promote discount codes which their followers can use to purchase products from the brand’s site and the creator will get a slight cut when the transaction goes through. This is a healthy and good way to make money. Some creators livestream on Twitch and the followers can pay a subscription fee or donate to them.
Advertising revenue on sites like YouTube, and even Twitch, become an essential revenue stream for content creators. Brands will pay YouTube for airtime during videos and YouTube will put those ads in videos which meet their criteria, for which the video’s channel owner will receive pay based on their views.
Gambling and Alcohol Adverts Targeted
Adverts being displayed on websites you visit can be annoying. But more people than ever before are now concerned about their internet privacy and they do not like targeted adverts. These are ads that pop up and are relevant to your interests, often created by a tracker having our data. They feel like this is an invasion of their privacy and worry about who has now collected their data.
Google is now trying to hand back some control to people in their own homes. This starts with YouTube. They are now rolling out settings that can allow you to turn off certain types of adverts that you might not want to see. This includes those that show alcohol or gambling.
Right now, gambling is very popular and the industry is growing. A lot of people are enjoying casino games and online poker real money websites. Visiting sites like PokerListings, which aggregates and compares online casinos, will affect which ads appear in the side bars of websites. While online casinos are not a problem and instead are a great source of entertainment, some people do not want these ads showing on their computer: they might not be representative of the things they search for and want to see. Often, Facebook ads, for instance, can be useful if it highlights a deal or a bargain to be had, and, while online casinos do have welcome and limited-time bonuses, customers might not want to see these as much as clothing.
It will become easy for people to opt out of certain ads on YouTube. First of all, you are able to do this by turning off personal ads that are based on your browsing history. This is through Google’s Ad Settings. But the ads you receive on your computer have evolved and sometimes this means you will see adverts related to what you watch on YouTube or other websites too. Therefore, this is how online gambling can come up, also. A user could watch a video for tips on how to approach roulette strategically and see online casino adverts immediately.
However, Google has stated that this filter they are offering is not guaranteed to be 100 percent effective. Therefore, there is a chance that some gambling related and alcohol adverts may still be received. But this is still going to be less than someone that has not activated the filter.
The Adaption of Advertising
Will other platforms adapt to these new measures? They could. Customer consent is a major topic in the technology industry, especially when it comes to data collection and content filters. As mentioned, these platforms rely on advertising revenue to thrive as much as content creators which use them.
There is often scepticism from customers on how Silicon Valley giants will utilise new technology to further their advertising capabilities and efficiency. For instance, Google are developing a Look To Speak app, which will make it easier for people with speech or motor impairments to communicate. Using their eyes, users will be able to select phrases to send or for the phone to utter. The basis of this technology – improved eye tracking – could be appropriated and used for other purposes, particularly advertising. Adverts could respond to eye movement, or, even, simply be placed in high-traffic areas of a screen. Companies see advertising as such a fundamental income that they will continue their ability to cater to their clients.
Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal is a major example and reference point for this topic of conversation, and one which the world is still internalising and coming to terms with. Other tech companies – Google and Apple, included – are facing lawsuits from the United States government for data breaches and security, as well the ethics and practices of their monopolies, which they are contending with. It is likely platforms and companies will willingly adapt to certain measures, while fighting other ones. Consenting to gambling and alcohol advertising is likely something they will adapt to willingly.