HTC could be planning to put ads into BlinkFeed

What ads might look like in BlinkFeed. Photo: HTC

What ads might look like in BlinkFeed. Photo: HTC

A leaked HTC slide suggests the company is planning to monetize its BlinkFeed feature on Android by introducing ads and sponsored content. Screenshots demonstrate what BlinkFeed might look like with ads for the Clash of Clans game and HTC’s own Re Camera.

It seems many HTC fans disable BlinkFeed almost instantly after setting up their new smartphone, but if you take the time to customize it, it can actually be incredibly useful — particularly if you want to keep up with the news from your favorite sources with little effort.

But HTC could be planning something that will almost certainly ensure BlinkFeed dies a painful death.

A leaked slide published by the ever-reliable @Upleaks details two methods of monetizing the service: links to sponsored apps and ads for its own products, accessories, and services.

No one wants to see ads. We can live with them inside free apps and games, before we watch free YouTube videos, and in between free songs on Spotify. But we don’t want them baked into a smartphone we paid hundreds of dollars for.

If HTC really wants to monetize its software, there are better ways to go about it. Paid themes and sound packs, or premium backup services like Apple’s iCloud are some of the options — and they at least give users something back.

But ads in your smartphone’s software? Ugh.

Of course, this isn’t confirmation ads are indeed coming to BlinkFeed, so HTC fans shouldn’t worry just yet. This could well be a plan that the company decided to ditch a long time ago. But maybe it’s time to look for a BlinkFeed alternative — such as Flipboard — just in case.