There are times when I feel bad about bashing HTC. The company makes some terrific hardware and is filled with smart and talented people who have a passion for designing great products. However, HTC’s latest move to spam users with advertisements in their notifications center is something that is so self-destructive that the company needs to be told that it’s a bad idea.
In case you haven’t heard, many HTC One M8 and One M9 users have been receiving ads for the new Fantastic Four movie in their notifications center. Check out this picture uploaded to Imgur to see what it looks like.
I understand that HTC is struggling right now. Its revenues have taken a big dive since the launch of the One M9 and it needs to come up with alternative ways to generate cash. I already knew that HTC was going to try integrating ads into its BlinkFeed UI but adding them to push notifications takes things to a whole new level.
As you can imagine, this isn’t going over very well with HTC users who don’t understand why HTC feels compelled to send them ads through notifications when they have already paid the company for the phone they’re using. This isn’t a website or an app that lets you take advantage of its services for free in exchange for being subjected to advertising — it’s a mobile device that users have already shelled out hundreds of dollars for.
We reached out to HTC and they told us how users can disable push notification ads on the phone: “Just go to BlinkFeed > Settings > Manage Ads and uncheck the box,” the company explains. Nonetheless, this is something that will damage HTC’s brand even further and will push customers to Samsung, Motorola or other Android vendors who will sell them devices that don’t send them ads as a default setting.
I know things are tough for HTC. But even if the company gets a short-term revenue boost from this initiative, the long-term damage it’s doing to its brand will outweigh any momentary gains.