SlingLabs is the Latest to Enable Developers to Display Ads in the Notification Bar


Another firm has clung on to this “brilliant” idea that AirPush has come up with. SlingLabs is enabling developers to achieve a 40% click-through rate on their ads by pushing those ads to your notification bar. By now, you all already know my stance – it’s horrible and I would not tolerate any application or developer who actively uses it to advertise.

And while I’m all for developers making money, pushing advertisements to my notification bar when I’m not even using your application is intolerable. Even if I’m in your application, my notification bar is not premium whitespace above the fold – it’s for notifications that actually demand my attention.

I wish what they were doing is illegal, but it isn’t. I’ve made my stance on this type of stuff just as many of you have. Developers, be warned – you will make many fans unhappy if you decide to implement anything of the sort. [via Android & Me]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. It’s not going to happen on my machine.

  2. this should be comedy with adblock. we’d have literally blank advertisements in the bar.

  3. I think this is the equivalent of installing browser toolbars on desktop OSes. It’s going to kill the image of any company that takes part in such practices.

    1. This is essentially the same thing. My GF tends to add these apps all the time to her PC and it drive me nuts. I hate the clutter and chaos. Not to mention its intrusive and consume resources. Hate every aspect of it.

  4. Appropriately named company that SlingsSh1t.

  5. The 1st app that shows an add in my notification bar will be deleted!

    1. And the 2nd, and the 3rd, and…

    2. I honestly can’t think of a single app that I depend on to the point that I’d keep it if the developer tried this shit. Even if Google itself tried it with Maps for instance, I’d just find an alternative.

  6. Especially sad (and telling) that their demo screenshot shows a notification-bar advert that, rather than adding value to a user’s experience, just directs them to what most would consider a *junk* app.

    1. Are you trying to say that you don’t think a bunch of racing car(!) pictures wrapped inside a simple app is totally awesome? Are you implying that something like that isn’t capable of spreading virally and selling itself by virtue of its utility? Nah.

  7. Automatic one star App rating AND immediately uninstall. Enuf said.

  8. I hope these A*holes go bankrupt and get arrested.

  9. We need to find the apps that use this so we can all install, give 1 star, report as malicious and uninstall. If enough people did this then the developers might get the clue.
    Also we should start a petition for Google to disable this ability in future updates. I mean I’m all for free and open, but I would put this in the same realm as having an app that crashes your phone at random times because the app runs better after a reboot. Completely unacceptable and malicious.

  10. Doesn’t surprise me that advertising companies would constantly think of ways to be as annoying as possible. If I had an app that displayed ads in the notification bar I would absolutely kick the app to the curb versus clicking on an ad or buying the ad-free version. If I really like what an app does I’ll get the paid version, being annoying is the wrong direction for the developer to go. Like many others, I never will click on an ad, that is if I ever even see one!

  11. Well, if it only creates an ad when you have the app open in the foreground and you can clear it, it is acceptable. Else it is not.

  12. The second that this becomes common place, I’ll drop Android. I’m a big fan of the Google ecosystem, but don’t you dare place ads anywhere on my screen for any reason, including apps. Keep them on the app when it’s open, where it belongs.

  13. Yes, we should petition to Google to voice our discontent with this malicious exploit of Android.
    I’m also curious to see how Apple going to handle these bastards once they release iOS5 because it is going to use the same notification system.

    1. No doubt Apple will prohibit this. This is one example where Apple’s tight-fisted control works out to the consumer’s best interest. I fear Google won’t do anything about it based on their guiding principle that open is better (which I usually agree with, just not for this).

  14. Very simple actually, No Tolerance Policy!

    ANY type of Notification Bar ads will result in an immediate Avoidance (no installation) or Removal, regardless of the author or app.

  15. Seriously, Google needs to get a handle on this FAST and ban these apps from the market. As others have pointed out, this doesn’t reflect on the quality of the app, it reflects on Android. The biggest problem is that by the time the ad pops up, the user often doesn’t have any idea, and has no way to know, which app is at fault. The only way is to install only 1 app and wait a week to see if you get ads, and most people install apps in batches, especially when they get their first Android phone. I’ve seen a number of comments elsewhere around the net implying that Android spams you with ads, citing specifically the notification bar ads.

    1. +1 i completely agree with you. This is making a pretty big negative impact on Android. The average consumer isn’t smart enough to know whats causing the ads in their notification bar. So Google is getting blamed for it, because people have no idea that an app was causing it and not the OS.

    2. I’d be satisfied if they just added this to the Permissions Required List.

      Keep phone from sleeping: OK
      Internet access: OK
      Notification bar adverts: DO NOT INSTALL

      1. The problem here is that the permissions are technical features that you are granting the app access to. For example, Google could have a separate permission for:

        [x] All application to create Notifications.

        Google could even make it granular with separate permissions for a notification sound, notification text, or notification custom view panel.

        But what Google CANNOT regulate is HOW the notifications are used. Whether an ad is displayed is not a technical feature that can be detected by the Android OS. The OS can only detect that an app is making the API calls to create a notification. It cannot know how to discriminate on the contents of the notification.

        It could be argued that this could be done, just as we have spam filters to discriminate on the contents of email. But do you really want to have to include such a burdensome task on the phone device, or require the device to ask a service in the cloud to do it?

        Rather than attempt a technical solution, it would be better to have an organized effort to severely punish any developer who ever thinks this behavior is a good idea.

    3. Google needs to do nothing less than ban any developer from the market who ever does this.

      Ditto for Amazon.

      Once a developer does this, I am unlikely to ever buy anything from them ever again.

      Hey advertisers, here’s a great idea! Why don’t you glue your ads to the inside of our eyelids while we’re asleep! It’s great premium ad space!

  16. bunch of babies here want devs to work for free!

    1. It’s a developers choice whether or not they work for free. If they make a quality app and charge for it, I will pay for it. Just like I have for well over half the apps on my phone right now. The myth that Android users don’t pay for apps is just that, a myth.

      I turn on the TV and expect ads, no surprise there. However, if I woke up and was in the middle of making coffee when Ikea barged in and started singing to me from my living room, I would probably use “acceptable force” to ensure that they never tried that stunt again.

      PS, silly troll. ;)

      1. You are wrong. Google does not allow to “sell” to some developers. In my case, my country is not allowed to “sell”…. The only option for me is to monetize from adverts.
        Adverts are not well payed. I have one app 14,000 installs, 5000 add pushes every day…. amount received in 6 months from adds = 30 USD.

        1. I wasn’t aware of that. It seems odd they would let developers submit only free or ad-supported apps and not paid, though I am sure it has something to do with regional laws.

          Nevertheless I am not entirely wrong. It is still your choice to work for free or not – if you cannot earn an income, and you develop anyways, that is your choice. I am also not against ad supported apps (though I wish you made more from them), just push ads in my notification bar. The minute an ad shows up there, I will hunt down the app responsible and never download from that developer again.

    2. Stupid idiot who wants spam on his phone. If spam is the only way you can think of to make money, you should be poor.

  17. I love that in the second screenshot it shows a little hand cursor to demonstrate clicking on the ad…like we have little hand cursors on our touchscreen phones!!

  18. I will not knowingly download or install any app that does this. I will uninstall and one-star review any app that does this and gets by me.

    In app ads are fine. This is not. Are you listening devs?

  19. I hope to NEVER encounter this on my phone…..

    hmmmm with iOS 5 iphones get a notification bar too right? stolen errr similair to that of android right? lol I hope they get apps with these kind of ads xD

    If we just collectively decide to 1-star rate these apps and in your review just say “notification ads” I am sure that they will get avoided/neglected enough to have any app developer using this officially be declared nuts :P

  20. Add me to the boycott, I will never tolerate that kind of crap on my phone.

  21. Atleast they have an opt-out, I don’t see the issue I mean only one a day and a developer can make alot more then any other placements..I don’t see the issue, you don’t show any ads in-game and just send one a day to a user lol.

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