I am a bit annoyed about this — let me explain why. While it is true that generally speaking people would rather do without ads in most of their products, it is also insane to expect people to line up and provide you with services just for the heck of it.

In some cases, this issue has been overcome by giving away a free version of something and then selling a paid version or offering support instead. Both of these can make an attractive option for those looking to avoid ads. No argument there. So what about applications that offer both an ad-supported model or a paid, ad-free model? Is the ad model wrong? No, and here is why.

  1. Don’t approve, don’t use it, or opt for the paid model.
  2. Offering a user the chance to select ads that do not bug them is fine, so long as there is a firm privacy policy in place and the user can keep their personal info… personal.
  3. Ironically, most people whining about “being tracked” fail to realize that Google has been doing this to them for YEARS, along with other portals. Does it make it right? Depends on disclosure and what info is being tracked for what purpose.

At the end of the day, I think abusive companies have made it difficult for companies to add advertising to their sites, apps, and other things. Yet oddly enough if the ads appear in apps on a platform highly popular, suddenly the complaints fall silent. Clearly people are still sore from past abuses but are willing to let it slide if the platform the ads are presented on is considered “cool” and “safe” by their peers. I find that interesting and a bit of a double standard.

Privacy policy followed to the letter with opt-in only, I see no problem here so long as nothing shady is being done.

[awsbullet:advertising retro]