Google shares are trading lower shortly after the open, Friday as the global tech giant announced users now have the ability to mute reminder ads they don’t want to see. While some ads are welcome and can serve as a reminder or highlight a relevant offer, they can also be unwanted noise.
By 1440 BST, Google shares were 0.34% lower at $1,178.12. As with other tech stocks, Google has begun the New Year in a generally positive manner.
Google’s ad mute button
The new feature will allow users to mute ads that pop-up as a reminder to visit a website they’ve recently browsed. After its initial launch, Google plans to expand this feature across YouTube, Search and Gmail.
“In your Ad Settings, you can turn ads personalization on or off at any time,” Google said in a post on this subject. “Now you can see information about reminder ads and control which advertisers can show you these ads.”
In addition, the new Google feature means that if you alter your settings on one device, your new preferences are recognized across all the devices you use.
Google’s initial ‘Mute this Ad’ feature was available in 2012 and this is the online juggernaut’s latest update to it.
Google named “a menace to society”
As Google rolls out this latest update to its services, billionaire investor, George Soros has named Google and Facebook “obstacles to innovation”. The Hungarian philanthropist also said theirs and other social media platforms’ “days are numbered.”
Speaking at the Davos Economics Forum in Switzerland, Soros told delegates who attended his address that social media sites “deceive their users by manipulating their attention and directing it towards their own commercial purposes” and “deliberately engineer addiction to the services they provide”.
He also said that this behaviour “can be very harmful, particularly for adolescents”.
This latest criticism of modern tech and social media follows a recent request from investors in Apple, for the tech innovator and iPhone maker to invest in research of the addictiveness of their popular smartphones and tablets.