From this SEC filing we find that the worlds largest advertising company, Google, is thinking deep about ads on your fridge. Your toaster. Any one of your smart devices. They're also figuring out how to track you between all of these things to deliver the right ad at the right time.
We expect the definition of “mobile” to continue to evolve as more and more “smart” devices gain traction in the market. For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses, and watches, to name just a few possibilities.
Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future, and thus our advertising systems are becoming increasingly device-agnostic. Enhanced Campaigns was specifically designed to help advertisers become more efficient in a multi-device future; rather than writing unique desktop campaigns, handset campaigns, and tablet campaigns, etc., Enhanced Campaigns allows our advertisers to write one ad campaign, which we serve dynamically to the right user at the right time on whatever device makes the most sense. Because users will increasingly view ads and make purchase decisions on and across multiple devices, our view of revenue is similarly device-agnostic.
I used to love the future of targeted advertising that the web makes possible, however I'm now wary of it all because I see privacy issues in letting a company have this much metadata about me, hanging around on their web servers. It's as if Google is stalking us all. And it's creepy, folks.
As Assange writes in a NYT book review titled "The banality of don't be evil";
Without even understanding how, they have updated and seamlessly implemented George Orwell’s prophecy. If you want a vision of the future, imagine Washington-backed Google Glasses strapped onto vacant human faces — forever.
The SEC filing is meant to explain in why Google can't provide precise data for projected mobile ad revenue, and that's why it veers off into ads on fridges territory. Instead of just admitting that Google is a black box that honestly doesn't want to share what it knows with even paying customers.
When Google deranked Metafilter, a hugely succesful community weblog that used to get a million hits a day on the front page, it was difficult to figure out why even with searchenginelands explainer. The search engine is a black box, and tweaking your pages to be found in it is a little like voodoo.
"Refrigerators reviewed" wrote about this SEC filing, and doesn't seem to mind ads on your fridge. "Sure, the Epicurious app on your next fridge might show an ad or two, and your Apple CarPlay infotainment system might suggest a certain restaurant if you're looking for reservations. But that's just a logical extension of our current world." Sure, this is why advertising works with tech, because targeting, but we shouldn't forget how ugly it can be.
Nor should we forget that they're essentially a monopoly. Don't bet the farm on supporting your business with Google ads. When one company is the entire egg basket and they change their ways the future of Metafilter after peak ads is cutting staff and changing tactic. For example, we have so far not found another ad network to join after Google banned us (again).
And if we are to get targeted advertising everywhere as the SEC filings seems to suggest, the Google Glass Ad Spoof below may actually come true.
The Google Nest spoof site has been taken down by Google, but is mirrored here and here. The spoof showed us Google Hugs and Google Bye, but under that mirth and mockery is a very serious position: "Nest Labs, which is in the business of making creepy products designed to collect even more data from you. Apparently they just can’t get enough, they must have it all." They also want your complete and undivided attention, making driverless cars where you can relax and watch the ads go by.