Last week, BitTorrent, the company behind the popular file-sharing technology and the equally popular uTorrent client, announced that it was planning to bundle ads with uTorrent.
These ads wouldn't have been annoying banner ads like you'd see in all manner of shady software, mobile apps being a prime example, but rather promoted content, i.e. torrents, that would be made available to users and highlighted on top of the torrents list.
If done right, these ads could have even been useful or at least unobtrusive. But even so, they were going to attract the ire of at least some users.
And, indeed, they did, even before actually being used. Plenty of people commented on the announcement's forum thread and many of them were upset about the plans. Granted, the people who complained compared to the total number of uTorrent users, over 100 million, is paltry.
But BitTorrent is taking
heed and has announced
that it plans to make the ads opt-out, enabling those annoyed by them to simply disable them.
That's is very generous of BitTorrent and something few companies, who have to pay their employees, would do. Imagine Facebook or Google enabling you to opt-out of ads.
The fact is, the plan to include some sort of advertising is still in motion and still fluid, BitTorrent really wants to come up with something people will like or at least won't find annoying because, in the end, those ads will earn the company more money than spammy ones.
So, there you go, crisis averted, future uTorrent versions will come with ads, but they will be opt out. Hopefully, BitTorrents designs these ads to be useful and informative, to provide some value to users or be somewhat invisible if they don't. We'll find out soon enough.