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BitTorrent silently removes feature to remove advertisements from uTorrent

Posted at 03 June 2014 17:34 CEST by Jan Willem Aldershoff

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.

uTorrentIcon

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.

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There are 2 comments

TSJnachos117
MyCE Resident
Posted on: 04 Jun 14 01:35
    With all the FOSS BT clients available, it seems BitTorrent, Inc. is shooting itself in the foot. If they had the kind of dominance Microsoft has, they might be able to get away with this (only by the skin of their neck), but most users will likely switch to something else, with only a small minority putting up with these ads.
    Zod
    MyCE Resident
    Posted on: 04 Jun 14 17:20
      It's kind of moot. It's not like there have been giant leaps and bounds with changes in the bittorrent protocol. A lot of people still use uTorrent 2.2.1 or 2.0.4. Less bloated versions that still work fine. No real need for 3.x.

      Companies upgrading their software for the sake of upgrading their software usually doesn't end well.

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