Back in August BitTorrent announced that their prime client (uTorrent) will become ad-supported, in an effort to bring further support for both the client’s developing team and the company itself. Somehow expected, the public’s reaction to the announcement was not very positive; as such, BitTorrent decided to make the new feature optional. The day has finally arrived, and now uTorrent’s latest version (3.2.2) includes advertisements.
After several tests, BitTorrent finally released their ad-supported client, uTorrent 3.2.2. The new client is compatible with Windows 8 operating system, and brings several other improvements. For more details, you can check out their release highlights. The adverts are in the form of sponsored torrents (you will see a new tab at the top of the client), thus creating a bridge between advertisers and the roughly 125 million uTorrent users.
“We’re very mindful of that feedback and of our core values as a company, and as such we’ve been adamant that we maintain the same levels of privacy as always and that we do not interrupt the user experience with our ads,” BitTorrent’s Matt Mason told TorrentFreak.
“In online conversations and live walk-throughs, users are largely accepting and in many cases interested in the offers we put forward, which include artist content and our own new technologies, betas and product news.”
And, as promised, BitTorrent made the new feature optional. By going to Options>Preferences>Advanced, you will see a line like this: offers.sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled. If you decide to opt it out, just choose false and the ads will go away.
As soon as you restart your client, the ad-bar will no longer appear. Although BitTorrent took a great “risk”, if I can call it that way, by implementing advertisements to their top of the chain client, the company is going to apply strict rules when it comes to choosing their advertisers.
“Our approach has been to selectively work with partners who understand that BitTorrent users are among the most sophisticated online, and thus have a high bar when it comes to engaging with advertising,” Mason told TF.
“We believe that delivering a quality advertising experience that resonates with a highly influential, tech-savvy audience requires careful diligence, and have had to turn away some of the demand at this time.”
According to the company’s statements, their first partners are quite pleased with the new feature. Furthermore, BitTorrent is already trying different types of advertising, aside from the aforementioned one.
“In terms of performance, it’s still early in our experimentation, but we’ve seen strong sustained download rates for partner offers. We are also experimenting with taking users to partner websites to see how that experience compares.”
You can download uTorrent 3.2.2 by clicking this link.
So, what’s you opinion on this matter? Is BitTorrent making the right choice by trying to increase their revenues, with obvious purposes, or is it just a marketing strategy that would lead to unwanted effects?