1. Apparently, a small change. Gmail inbox messages are now automatically allocated to three default tabs: promotions, social (from social networks, including google+) and primary (all the remaining messages: the most import ones for most of the professional people).
My own experience: great! And fewer concerns about opening non primary messages - including the promotional ones. I may get a look at the titles, but very rarely open anyone of them. Digital life quality has improved ... due to an (apparently) small change.
2. This is a typical incremental innovation by Google, that has implications for near half a billion of gmail users. Google basics is a disruptive innovation that gave Google a unique competitive advantage: free use for all, kindly paid by advertisers. I have discussed Google innovation in a recent paper (see here, chapters 5 and 6).
But sustainability of Google depends on a continuous flow of incremental innovations, not of a new radical changes. Small changes with impacts on millions of users. These are technological changes: technology changes when the object changes (the new gmail tabs), the way you use the object changes and consequently the "community of believers" do change. The change is positive when the "community of believers" increase in numbers or satisfaction, meaning additional value for users.
This gmail technology change is typical of all these changes.
- The key takeaway here is that the people that matter the most to email marketers won’t read less email now. In fact, it’s likely they’ll read more.
- Marketers may see a decline in engagement from less active subscribers, and if this group still drives a lot of revenue and conversions, then it’s likely marketers may have cause for concern.
- What is clear, however, is that Gmail, which has more than 425m active users around the world, is evolving constantly and marketers will need to adapt their strategies to keep up.