Bittorrent Inc., the company behind the popular torrent client uTorrent, announced in August 2012 that it would add in-content advertisement to the software program. Today's uTorrent 3.2.2 update brings those in-content advertisements to the free client (uTorrent Plus users, those paying for the software, won't see the ads in their client versions).
The advertisement is displayed as a single row above the client's download window. The advertisement, listed as Featured Torrent, can be distinguished from regular downloads, even though there are some similarities which may have been added to increase downloads. The yellow background, the instant download button, and the fact that the listing does not use the same width as the download manager columns should give uTorrent downloaders enough hints that this is not one of their downloads.
The feature cannot be turned off at all in the client, and the promised ad skipping feature seems to have been canceled or not implemented yet. If you update to uTorrent 3.2.2 or newer you are stuck with the advertisement in the client.
If you install the client anew, you will also notice that it still contains two adware related offers. First an offer to install the uTorrent Browser Bar, to make uTorrent Web Search the default search provider and set all browser homepages to uTorrent Web Search, and second a third party offer to install another software on the system.
You can only avoid in-content ads in uTorrent if you do not upgrade to version 3.2.2. or newer, or download and install an older version of the client on your system. If you do, make sure you block the update checks in the client to avoid automatic updates to that version.
They can disable automatic updates in the client by clicking on Options > Preferences > General > Check for updates automatically, and update to beta versions to avoid being updated automatically to that new version.
What's your take on the recent change? Do you mind the in-content ads, or is that something that you can live with?
Update: Kale mentioned that it is possible to turn off the new offer featured of uTorrent after all. To do so click on Options > Preferences > Advanced, enter offer in the filter there and set the following two parameters to false:
Click apply, then ok, and restart the program. Make sure it is not only minimized in the system tray when you do that. The featured torrent is gone after the restart, and the left sidebar offer is a static uTorrent Plus ad instead.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.