Gmail is going to be adding new features that integrates Google Talk, Google's instant messaging service, with Gmail, Google's email service. Way back before Google had an instant messaging service, we joked about contextual ads in instant messaging chats. But it seems like we are not that far off now.
Can you imagine typing a message to a buddy, asking them if they know of a good place to buy a new laptop. Then suddenly something pos up on your screen, this little text ad by Google recommending laptop stores for you to purchase that laptop.
Google claims that there will be ads in your "saved chats".
Once a chat is saved, however, it becomes just like a Gmail message. And just as you may see relevant ads next to your Gmail messages, there now may be ads alongside your saved chats. Ads are only displayed when you're viewing a saved chat, and as with all ads in Gmail, they are matched entirely by computers. Only ads classified as Family-Safe are shown and we are constantly improving our technologies to prevent displaying any inappropriate ads. One of the things many Gmail users have told us is how much they appreciate the unobtrusive text ads in Gmail, as opposed to the large, irrelevant, blinking banner ads they often see in other services, and many have even cited the usefulness of the ads in Gmail.
But you can go off the record which means Google will not place your chats in that saved chats and wont serve up ads for them.
Don't get me wrong, it is cool that they are offering this. But it is kinda creepy that we are getting closer and closer to contextual ads based on your chat sessions.