The Imgur app recently came out of beta, and with the finished product came advertisements. This is standard fare for a free app, but apparently a lot of people didn’t like it. Users voiced their displeasure, and soon after, Imgur updated their app and completely removed ads. Have they set a precedent for developers?
Consumer backlash and public opinion can be powerful tools in shaping corporate behavior, but don’t think adless free apps are going to become the norm. Often, advertising is the only revenue generated by free apps. I’m sure Imgur has plenty of ways of making money; they’re a fairly well-sized company. Apps created by smaller developers, on the other hand, won’t have that luxury. They may be putting bread on their table thanks to in-app ads. So, don’t go boycotting apps just because they have ads. Ads are necessary for developers to make money. If consumers begin heavily gravitating toward big name developers that can afford to forgo in-app advertising, the development community may feel the squeeze. Remember, if you don’t like ads but appreciate the product, you can always upgrade to the paid version of the app.
That said, we’re happy to see user feedback making positive changes. The Imgur app has definitely become more pleasant to use. What other apps have been substantially improved thanks to user feedback like this?