YouTube received feedback from its user community, suggesting that people would like to limit ads in certain categories, such as online gambling. As a result, YouTube will now let its users hide gambling and alcohol ads if they don’t want to see such content.
Online gambling advertising is something that has increased noticeably in recent years, hence having children and young people exposed to these ads. Director for Wales at Alcohol Change UK, Andrew Misell, said that there have been increasing concerns regarding how technology is introducing alcohol and gambling marketing into places that it could never reach, and is potentially damaging particularly for those who struggle with addiction.
Moreover, ad impressions (the number of times an ad appears on the screen) for gambling sites have increased more than twice during the Covid pandemic.
YouTube’s new ad filtering tool, however, doesn’t guarantee filtering of all ads. There is also an existing feature related to ads on YouTube, which lets users adjust personalized ads.
The new tool which will allow switching off certain ad categories is expected to roll out to users in the US, followed by UK, and eventually to other countries in the coming year.
Furthermore, the feature may also be expanded to Google ads as it runs a major part of the entire digital advertising market.