Monday, January 12, 2009

MSN Hotmail - Are Your Ads Functioning Right?

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I am a loyal Hotmail user and I am more than happy with the service, except for one thing - its super annoying misbehaving advertisements in the Hotmail email control panel.

Either no one is using Hotmail nowadays or they just ignored the annoying ads. Well, I have put up with it long enough, decided to waste a little of my time to seek justice and ensure Hotmail users' comfort by recording the video below.

Are your ads supposed to behave like this?

I have several complaints and would like to have explanations about certain things:
  1. Why are the ads displayed in two rows instead of 1? Do you charge advertisers 2x the agreed eCPM when two rows of ads are displayed at the same time?
  2. Why when I press the close button, the ad closes for a while but it opens again almost immediately before my mouse can scroll away. Is this intended to increase click through rates? I suppose the click throughs count toward the bill of the advertisers, no?
  3. When the two rows of ads are showing the same thing simultaneously, I tried to patiently close one, then another, but there was no way I could access the menu blocked by the ads (as demonstrated in the video). Again, are you trying to increase the CTR?
I am not sure if this is a bug which has escaped your software engineers' eyes or whether there is a larger conspiracy behind (hey, I am not accusing but just speculating). I am sure you have a large user base and I refuse to believe that no one has complained about the annoying misbehaving ads before.

If there are any Hotmail users who has experienced this problem before kindly leave your comments below, don't let me fight alone for user welfare and comfort here. Advertisers who are concerned about being billed for invalid CTRs due to faulty MSN ads are welcomed to comment too.

P.S. More importantly I hope a representative from the ad network will look into this and rectify the matter. Once again, I am not looking for the particular person at fault here, I am just stating the obvious and hoping for an improved experience for all Internet users.

***Latest update*** It seems the "problem" has been fixed, barely 4 hours after I have published this post. No wonder Microsoft is thriving, they have such efficient employee ;)
By the way I think I should video-blog more often, seems pretty effective to me to achieve what we want.
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