uTorrent has become the most popular BitTorrent client in the world, gaining users at a steady rate since its introduction in 2005. The software was purchased by BitTorrent Inc. in 2006, and at first there was little change from the original minimalist approach, but the software has become more complex, and the latest releases have been called “bloated” by many of their users. A good deal of the revenue generated by the software has been gained through the optional toolbar that is offered in the installation of the program.
Now, uTorrent is planning to add “sponsored torrents” at the top of the list of the torrents. These sponsored torrents will contain content from advertisers. This “feature” will not be something that can be turned off by the user, though you can remove individual ads as they appear.
According to TorrentFreak, BitTorrent Inc. has already stated that people in different geographic areas will see different content, which means they will use your IP address to determine your location, but no other private information will be gathered or used.
I suspect this new strategy will cause many uTorrent users to reconsider their choice of BitTorrent clients, or stick with older versions of this software. Its not often you can see a cataclysmic tipping point in the future of a popular software, but this one looks like an iceberg straight in the path of the S.S. uTorrent.