uTorrent is the most used BitTorrent program available, but its users are in for a surprise when the p2p outlet adds advertisements. Unlike ads on other platforms, uTorrent has created a means of making money while maintaining a quality user experience.
An administrator on the uTorrent forum posted about the new version of the program on Aug 9. "These new changes mark our next step towards finding that difficult balance between keeping our lights on and providing a positive user experience," the administrator said.
The way uTorrent is going about the ads is less intrusive than the more common style of advertising. They has created a featured torrent section that will appear just below the uTorrent toolbar, offering different kind of content which at some point could be tailored to specific interests based on the torrent users download.
In what was described by the administrator as a narrow rectangle, the advertisements will display new products, features and services, work from independent musicians, film makers and other artists, as well as games, security products and privacy services from uTorrent partners.
The uTorrent administrator repeatedly brings up user feedback throughout the post and the FAQ section that followed. To make the advertisements even less bothersome to those using the torrent platform, uTorrent has included an x button that will skip offers of no interest.
At the time there is no means of turning of the advertisements. Users who have the paid uTorrent Plus service won't see any ads, but there is no way of shutting them off with the free program.
The uTorrent admin is claiming that the new feature won't affect the privacy settings of any users.
"uTorrent has always communicated to a server to check for software updates; now it will also check for offer updates," the uTorrent administrator wrote. "No personally identifiable information is passed during this communication."
The BitTorrent program is also being updated to fix bugs, enhance performance and add user requested features. uTorrent boasts that, "Torrents with many files load faster and magnet links preload content in the add-torrent dialogue," and that they have "improved the speed of torrents over network shares and added several improvements to streaming playback."
There is no confirmed date for the upgrade's release. The uTorrent admin said it would be released in a few weeks in the Aug 9 post.
Even with this upgrade, many users will find themselves without their go-to websites. Both Demonoid has been shut down by the Ukrainian government, and the MPAA and RIAA are working to take down popular sites like The Pirate Bay.
uTorrent was ranked on the "Best Free Software of 2011" list. "uTorrent is for the advanced user looking to branch out with extension apps and experiments with the entire protocol.Iit's wicked fast," claims PC Mag.