Got so many Google+, YouTube, Google Offers, and Zagat emails you want to scream? Google’s got you covered. No, it’s not sending you less spam. It’s organizing your spam into tabs! Google’s blatant attempt to cross-promote its bevy of services in the video for the quite possibly awesome new Gmail inbox leaves it seeming like a sketchy foreigner who just needs $200 to wire you your lottery winnings.
Yes, of course you can configure all your email notifications settings, but that’s the cheater’s way to inbox zero.
Google could have used some generic stand-ins for the emails that would get filtered into Gmail’s new social and promotions tabs, but instead it went with its own products. Maybe Gmail’s new tabs can’t recognize the unnecessary alerts Facebook and other social networks send as “social”, but showing an inbox with 10 straight alerts from Google+ and YouTube isn’t very flattering.
It’s a curious choice considering the general, long-standing weariness about the tech giant using its girth of products to promote [or unfairly favor] its other properties. Pumping Google+ in Google Search results was bad enough.
Now I want to be clear, these criticisms come from a place of love. Your staff deserves to have their work honored by videos that make it shine, like this beautiful one for the new Hangouts messenger.
What stuns me is that after whole teams of engineers and designers spend months carefully crafting a product, it can get carelessly marred or misrepresented when the company tries to make a commercial out of it. Facebook’s Home ads make it look like it will endlessly interrupt your time with your family. Spotify’s first TV spot appears to show someone crowdsurfing across of a sea of zombies in the post apocalypse.
I know secrecy is sooo important when it comes to big product launches like the snazzy new Gmail, but it seems to me that tech companies could stand to do a bit more private field testing before they show their videos and commercials to the world. Otherwise, you end up with “And that’s why chairs are like Facebook.”