As more and more of our time online is spent on our mobile devices, big companies like Facebook and YouTube are finally trying to monetize in the mobile space. I've been working with YouTube since it came out in 2005. You may recall that they never served ads up on the Web before videos for the first year or so. Even when Google bought YouTube, there was still a nice long period before we had to deal with ads. But if YouTube is to survive as a free platform, ads are inevitable, and so, today, I've finally seen my first ad on the mobile device before the video I wanted to watch started playing.
Likewise, Facebook is starting to insert sponsored content into your mobile stream, which I first started noticing yesterday when I updated to their new (very fast and wonderful) iOS app. It’s simple to skip past the ads, so they don’t bother me too much yet, but if my stream becomes cluttered with these sponsored ads, I think I’d rather them offer a paid product that is ad-free.
How do you all feel about these changes? What’s the best solution?