Google recently announced that they will start showing user’s photo and display name along with their product recommendations throughout their products and services. These they are terming as “Shared Endorsements”.
For example, if you search for “Italian restaurants,” you might see an ad for a nearby restaurant along with your friend’s favorable review. Or, in Google Play, you might see that another friend has +1’d a new song or album. Read more about this on official Google blog post here.
Many expected an outrage by users as this can be seen as a privacy violation from Google because will be using user’s recommendation for commercial purpose, but surprisingly there hasn’t been much protest against this. Users now are aware of the fact that free services that they use online are in return of sharing their profile and usage data.
On the other hand, this announcement from Google has found a good uptake from advertisers! They are expecting that shared endorsements will work better than display and search ads as these will have photos and names of real persons making real recommendations – a definite plus for e-commerce advertisers.
However many advertisers and ad agencies were surprised that there was no prior notification or information on this. Performance advertisers are expecting to see a big impact on their business due to this feature, but Google seems to be underplaying it. Maybe Google seems to be more concerned about the impact of endorsement ads on users than on advertisers.
Read more on industry reaction on this new feature of Shared Endorsements from Google at http://adage.com/article/digital/google-s-shared-endorsement-ads-1-ad-agencies/244740/