Soon, people searching Google for shopping deals from their mobile phones could see an ad promoting a new text alert service.
The company announced it is “testing a new ad format that conveniently delivers the latest brand offers and updates straight to consumers’ phones via text messages. People can click to subscribe to a Google service that tailors promotional messages to products they’re interested in.”
Google has set up separate text message “subscriptions” for users searching for Black Friday deals, Cyber Monday deals and general holiday deals. Users who subscribe will receive text alerts about deals and promotions “from popular retailers.”
If you’re not seeing the ads and want to try this for yourself, text “JOIN” to one of these numbers:
For Black Friday: 847-904-0608
For Cyber Monday: 847-906-8958
For Holiday deals: 847-904-0596
You’ll get a text confirmation from Google, and at some point, you’ll begin receiving the promotional alerts.
We’ve reached out to Google with several questions about this funky new feature and will update here when we hear back.
Update: A Google spokesperson responded with some more details on this test. Here’s what we know:
The text promotions are based on the ad a user responds to and not on specific product interests. If you subscribe to the Black Friday updates, for example, you’ll receive promotion notices matched to deals available for that day.
The promotions are not linked to a retailer’s Google Merchant Feed. Instead they are built by participating retailers specifically for these text message subscriptions. If there is a link in a text message — and there isn’t always — it will go to a retailer’s mobile site.
As with many tests at this stage, there no details available yet on the pricing structure.
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