HTC move to test ads on BlinkFeed app angers users

HTC will incorporate ads in its media aggregation app in select markets

HTC’s BlinkFeed is part news aggregator, part social app.

HTC’s BlinkFeed is part news aggregator, part social app.

As HTC faces shrinking revenue, the smartphone vendor is testing ads over its BlinkFeed media aggregation app, and some users aren't happy.

On Tuesday, HTC said it had begun rolling out an update to its BlinkFeed app that would include advertisements for users in the U.S., the U.K., China and a few other markets.

The ads, for now, will be in a limited number, and promote sponsored apps, in addition to HTC accessories and devices, the company said in a blog post.

"Because these are native ads, they will appear like a typical BlinkFeed post rather than as a pop-up or banner ad," HTC added. However, users will be given an option to opt out from seeing the ads.

Many HTC customers are opposed to the change. Several users posted to HTC's blog post, complaining.

"I don't buy a phone to enjoy my amazing ads," wrote one user.

BlinkFeed debuted back in 2013 as a software feature found on HTC phones. It works as a scrolling news and social media feed that can sit on the handset's home screen. Users can customize the information sources displayed.

In its Tuesday blog post, HTC stressed that the inclusion of ads was a pilot project. "It's too soon for us to say when or if these promotions will be rolled out to additional markets," HTC added.

Financially, the company has been struggling, amid heated competition with Apple, Samsung and emerging Chinese smartphones vendors. Earlier this month, HTC revised its earning projections for this year's second quarter, stating that revenue would be down further than expected on weakening demand for high-end phones.

The dire situation has caused some to wonder if HTC should be acquired. But HTC has said it will continue developing hit products, and look for opportunities outside smartphones.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags mobile applicationsconsumer electronicshtcsmartphonesAndroidmobile

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Michael Kan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?