Google Home is a great way to tap into the wealth of the internet’s knowledge, just by using your voice. Some users are now getting upset because they didn’t know that apparently that also meant opting into Google’s ad business — the search giant’s bread and butter — and as you would have guessed, they’re P-freakin-O’d.
As one user demonstrated on Twitter, asking Google Home about their daily agenda sparked Home to cleverly mention the opening of Beauty and the Beast (now in theaters) at the end. Here’s the direct quote from Assistant after speaking the time, weather, and daily commute times:
“By the way, Disney’s live action Beauty and The Beast opens today. In this version of the story, Belle is the inventor instead of Maurice. That rings truer if you ask me. For some more movie fun, ask me something about Belle.”
According to the user (and others on Reddit) the ad wasn’t based on any previous search queries, so it would appear this is paid spot from the film’s production company. Google, again, makes a ton of money off their ad business so while this isn’t really too surprising, some feel like they’ve been duped and/or would like a way to opt-out.
It’s also worth noting that some people are reporting that the ad is also showing up in Google Assistant on their phones, so this isn’t unique to Google Home. We’ve already tried getting the ad to play on our Pixel, but no luck so far. Google has yet to comment on exactly what’s going on here — and if we can expect to hear more spoken ads or opt-out — so we’ll update when or if they do.
UPDATE: According to Business Insider, a Google spokesperson says the ads aren’t really ads…
“This isn’t an ad; the beauty in the Assistant is that it invites our partners to be our guest and share their tales.”