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Google Chromebook Ads Popping Up on Chrome Start Pages

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My Google Chrome Browser wants me to buy a new Chromebook for $249. 

Developers have reported seeing such advertising from Google on Chrome start pages - where your apps, bookmarks or favorites are listed - since late 2011 but only one screenshot is floating around which was shared on Google+. However, those who blogged the event at the time were not able to recreate occurrence.

This latest ad has a different design to its forerunner and a handful of Twitter users have already spotted it and shared their opinion on the feature. Unsurprisingly, the verdict is overwhelmingly sarcastic, ranging from "not thrilled" to being completely unimpressed that the ads are for products they can't actually buy in their country.

For my two cents, the ad is unobtrusive and momentarily made my start page more interesting than it currently is (probably because I'm vaguely interested in buying a Chromebook at that price). The ad is well positioned to be directly in my eye-line, and although I never click the boxes for favorites or apps, the new tab start page is relatively clutter free which makes price orientated ad copy even more tantalizing to click.

However, the experience did cause me to recall the VP of Google+'s hubris over Facebook's sandwich board style ads which are posted in "personal and sacred" space… yet, arguably my browser start page, until now, was truly my most personal space on the Internet. Google may not needs to post ads to make their next payroll, but clearly they need still ads to keep Chromebooks in the public eye.


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