Advertising is an unfortunately necessary part of life – and I say that as a guy whose livelihood depends upon it. But there’s a fine line between an acceptable level of distraction and an infuriating invasion of a user’s space. Case in point: sellAring. Instead of placing banner ads in free apps or even embedding them in the user’s status bar, sellAring places audio ads (remember those, radio listeners?) over the “ring ring” sound you hear when calling another party.
The Android Reddit is up in arms, with hundreds of comments containing the predictable bile. Their two-minute Powerpoint-class YouTube spot aimed at free app developers has an astounding three likes to 188 dislikes – a ratio rarely seen even on the vitriolic cesspool of YouTube commenters. The video itself isn’t exactly evil, but it does paint Android users as targets for marketing and not customers. The main selling points are more engagement while a user waits for a call and the fact that ads play even when users aren’t actively using the app, though hopefully they disappear once it’s uninstalled.
SellARing claims that they already have advertising agreements with clients like NBC, FOX and Wal-Mart, and that their SDK is easy to integrate into existing apps. Full marks for creativity guys, but this kind of intrusive advertising is not the way to win users. We’d have a hard time recommending any app that used this particular service, even if it unlocked your bootloader and downloaded more RAM.
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[via Android Police]