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Google Home Removes 'Timely Content' Audio Ads Soon After Introducing Feature

18 March 2017, 7:37 am EDT By Anne Baker Tech Times
Google has removed its audio ads hours after introducing it on its Google Home. The audio clips gave information about Disney’s newly-released movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’.  ( Google )

After bombarding users of Google Home with audio ads for the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, the company has pulled back the adverts after a huge outcry on social media.

Google Home users on March 16 were surprised to hear their virtual assistant spouting information about the Disney movie, as well as trying to engage its owners in a conversation about the same.

The company has now removed the feature a few hours after it was introduced, due to an outcry from users.

Social Media Outrage

On Thursday, March 16, Google Assistant started providing titbits about Disney's part live and part animated movie as soon as it was greeted by the users in the morning. As soon as the owners asked the smart speaker about a rundown of their day, a common question which is addressed to Google Home every morning, the advert greeted the bewildered users.

 "This morning while I was getting ready for work, I did my usual "Okay Google, good morning". After information about the time and weather, my google home said something along the lines of, By the way, Beauty and The Beast opens in theaters today. In this version, Belle is the inventor. Sounds more like it to me," shared a reddit user going by the name CaptainCaptioni.

Google Home spoke about the film in its own normal voice and even made an attempt to initiate regular conversation about the movie. However, most of the users felt that inclusion of unnecessary information - without taking customer feedback - was downright annoying and pointless

Why The Ad Backfired

After plenty of hue and cry on social media by Google Home users - stating that the audio clip was an advert - Google responded that the audio piece on the movie was not a promotional activity.

The Google spokesperson stated that it was just "timely content" rather than an ad. This was incorporated by the company as part of the My Day feature, which offers users helpful tips and information about the day.

The audio clip introduced into Google Home backfired for the company, primarily because of customer expectations. Basically, when Google Home was marketed to potential customers, it was advertised as an ad-free product which cost $129.

Thus, customers see unrequested audio clips as an intrusion rather than a feature. Google's assertions that it trying to expand it My Day content seems circumspect.

The My Day feature offers "a curated snippet about your day which includes weather, calendar, commute, reminders and news" per the company.

The "timely content" played by Google doesn't seem to fall into any of the said categories of the feature.

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