Users uproar over notification bar ads

During one of my “let me see if I can find anything interesting on Google Play”-sessions yesterday I came across a wallpaper app that had a comment section quite unlike others I’ve seen. People don’t as much object the app as they do the use of Leadbolt, a not-new and not unique service that pushes ads to your notification bar. Users of the wallpaper app in question are furious that the app is invading their privacy like that, and with the method of getting rid of the ads without uninstalling the app involving entering your IMEI into a website, most people stay away from that option as well, despite it being pushed as “you only have to…” by the developer.

Now, this is significant for several reasons. First off, Android is infamous for having users who’d rather see ads than pay for an app. With that steady income stream taken away from developers, I can see the need for methods to actually get some ads to the users without them just ignoring them. What’s special here is the way that it’s being done, as well as the lack of a paid version of the app or any way to pay to get rid of the ads. It seems the developer has given up on that way of earning revenue completely, and just taken advertising to its ultimate level.

Luckily, few developers are dumb enough to use these systems. I use the word “dumb” because the amount of negative feedback directed solely at the use of this system for this app just goes to show how this is one way of advertsing that users simply won’t accept. Having that many negative reviews not only means that your old users have disappeared, but also that new ones are unlikely to appear That means that you have an effective way of displaying ads to…basically no users.

Morale of the story? If you’re a developer, this isn’t the way to go. If you’re a user and ads have started popping up in your notification bar, apps like this wallpaper app are the first place you should look.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.