This week the folks at Google AdWords revealed their next steps for mobile apps – particularly inside games. They’ve revealed their first beta for video ads, “a new way to reach players on Google Play with sight, sound, and motion.” These ads will appear to users in the Google Play app store as users scroll through, searching for apps of all sorts – and they’ll be targeted.
Targeting advertisements creates an echo chamber of interest for users. It happens on Facebook with political sharing, it happens on Twitter with viral content – it happens everywhere. Google is one of several ad-serving companies that track user interests and serve ads based on user actions and searches on the web.
With video ads targeted at users, called here “Game Trailers for You,” Google makes a great experience for the end user. They see games that are similar to the games they already play – and they’re more likely to look at these new games, download, and play. At the same time, they’re less likely to explore new avenues.
At the same time, they’re less likely to discover new games that are unlike any games they’ve played before. As it is with most products for sale today, because of the internet, we’ve been transformed into click farmers and lemmings. Developers do whatever they have to to survive, including creating games that might look like games that are already popular.
That’s why movies NOT based on previously-produced media are so rare today. That’s why Disney bought Lucasfilm. “In a sea of mobile apps, it’s critical to reach the right players at the right time and place,” said a Google AdWords representative this week in a Google AdWords blog entry. “Universal App campaigns (UAC) use Google’s machine learning technology to find loyal fans across Google.com, Google Play, YouTube, and over 3 million sites and apps in the Google Display Network.”
End users, please pay heed to the wider world of opportunities to find something new in not just mobile gaming, but in all products you’re able to purchase. Developers, do whatever you need to do to survive, but please try to steer away from the copy trap. Eventually all we’ll have is an app store full of clones of Pokemon GO!