BitTorrent, the company behind the popular uTorrent client, has removed the option to hide all advertisements in the latest version of the software. When advertising was first introduced to the software many users complained and the developers decided to provide an option to hide the advertisements.
According to TorrentFreak is uTorrent the primary revenue stream of BitTorrent Inc. The millions of users of the torrent client generate more than 5 billion ad impressions making it an attractive platform for advertisers. While likely most home users don’t use the hide advertisements feature (and thus don’t hurt the revenue), the company nevertheless decided to remove the feature from uTorrent 3.4.2.
When in August 2012 BitTorrent first announced it would show advertisements in uTorrent, users were immediately concerned. They asked for a feature to hide advertisements. BitTorrent listened and added a feature hidden in the advanced settings of uTorrent. Users had to change the value of ‘offers.sponsored_torrent_offer_enabled‘ to false and they would no longer see advertisments in uTorrent.
With the release of the recent version with the feature removed, users have started to complain again on the uTorrent forums. Some users argue the removal of the feature will damage the reputation of the software, others report they will switch to another torrent client.
BitTorrent Inc. doesn’t report anything about the changes in the changelog of version 3.4.2. Previous uTorrent also received criticism for bundling adware and installing toolbars.