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Google lets users ‘see fewer’ dating, weight loss, pregnancy, and parenting ads on YouTube and Gmail
Google has expanded the options users have if they want to see fewer ads from categories that the company considers to be sensitive. Gmail and YouTube users will be able to limit the number of ads for dating and other topics due to the new ad controls introduced this week.
This option was first introduced in December 2020, when Google added an option for users to enable a "See fewer" option for gambling and alcohol ads on YouTube. The feature was initially launched in the United States before becoming available worldwide.
This week, Google confirmed the addition of new categories, including dating, weight loss, parenting, and pregnancy. TechCrunch reports that the option to limit these ads for these sensitive categories will be reflected on YouTube and Gmail. While users might see these ads in Google Search results, the company told the publication that they plan to extend these changes to Search ads later on.
Google account users can see these options in the Ad Settings. At the lower part of the page, they will find a section on “Sensitive ad categories on YouTube.” Each category has a “See fewer” button on the right side that will then display pop-up prompt telling users they should see fewer ads from that category when using YouTube while signed in to their Google account. However, the company also places the disclaimer, “This won't change the total number of ads you see.”
“People want more control over their ads experience, including blocking ads or categories they prefer not to see,” Google product manager for privacy and user trust Karin Hennessy told TechCrunch. “Providing transparency and control has always been a priority for us so we’re expanding our tools, enabling the choice to see fewer pregnancy and parenting, dating, and weight loss ads.”
Allowing Google users to limit alcohol and gambling ads was a welcome change, especially for people who may be battling addiction. Adding categories like weight loss is also viewed as an improvement since it can negatively affect users with eating disorders. Google has yet to confirm if more sensitive ads will be added as categories for this feature.