Opera Software announced today that Opera Max, a free VPN application for Android, crossed the 50 million active user mark after hitting 10 million active users in May of 2016.
The company revealed a new Opera Max VIP mode on top of that which provides users of the app with another use option.
As you may know already, the company switched on a time-limited mode in November 2016 which enables the VPN for up to 12 hours.
This forced users of the app to add time to their VPN time quota regularly. My assumption back then was that Opera Software did that first and foremost for generating ad views as it added ads to the "add time" page of the application.
While I don't mind seeing ads if the service that is provided is good enough, Ghacks for instance survives because of ads as well, I disliked this nagging feature because it made life difficult for users of the application.
While the active user growth is something to really get exciting about, it is likely that Opera lost users because of this as well. Some who might dislike that they are forced to open the application to "add time" to their quote regularly, others because of the ads themselves, and another group because there is no subscription option available to get rid of the ads and the time restrictions.
Opera Max's new VIP mode gives users who fall into the first category a way out. The new mode can be enabled from within the application. Once done, Opera Max can be used without time restrictions.
This means that you won't have to recharge the time quota regularly anymore when you are using the application.
The downside to this is that Opera Max will display an advertisement on the phone's charge screen whenever it is charged.
But now, with the all-new VIP mode, you can get unlimited savings and privacy without topping up your timer. In exchange, an ad will show up on your charge screen. This will be visible on the lockscreen, but only when your phone is plugged in to charge.
Here is how that looks like:
The ad screen was displayed on my phone after I unlocked it. The lockscreen itself was untouched by the change.
So, you get ads that are "more in your face" than before but also unlimited access to Opera Max so that you don't have to add time regularly to your quote anymore.
Note that the lock screen ads are displayed even when Opera Max is not running.
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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.