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Google gives fat fingers the flick before they click

Mobile ads are often a mistake

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Google has admitted what an awful lot of people have learned first-hand (or perhaps first-finger): in the cramped environs of a smartphone's screen, it’s easy to mistakenly click on an ad.

The ad giant says “most accidental clicks on in-app image ads happen at the outer edge of the ad … when you’re trying to click or scroll to nearby content.”

That’s obviously bad news for the ad giant, as mistaken clicks are hardly likely to satisfy marketers. It’s also bad news for those whose smartphone use is interrupted by inadvertent clicks.

Google’s answer is to extend a scheme whereby any click on its ads produces a small graphic prompting users to visit the link it offers. The first touch on an ad produces the prompt, instead of sending users into marketers’ sweet embrace.

Google's solution for fat-fingered false ad clicks

Did you click on that ad, or are you just pleased to see me?

Alan Huang, the Chocolate Factory’s product manager for mobile display ads, also says things are likely to get worse. “As devices continue to converge there will be new challenges in the fight against what many have called the ‘fat finger’ problem,” he writes. ®

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