So, I have made an app and it's getting it's fair share of action on the Play Store. It is free and currently contains no adverts.

I am nearing completion of integration with Flurry Ads. I am also planning on putting in custom event tracking into the next release.

My question is, is it a bad thing to post updates for something like this and containing no update to user experience. i.e. Will users get pissed off and complain via review that the update is for ads?

Or should I hold back on the update and try and implement a new feature for the user.

  • Do you have any new features in the pipeline, or is the application as feature-full as you would want it to be? (i.e. would you just be thinking up a new feature just to release it alongside the ads, or are there actual additions you want to make in the future?)
    – JonW
    Jan 13, 2013 at 11:51
  • It's pretty much finished. But there is one feature i'd like to ad in the future but i'm still investigating it's implementation.
    – jim
    Jan 13, 2013 at 12:21
  • 1
    Unless your users really, really want to see ads, yes, it's a terrible thing to do from a UX POV.
    – DA01
    Jan 13, 2013 at 22:07

4 Answers 4


Who can honestly say that whenever they update an app that they notice all the changes or expect to notice them?

Apps update all the time where people have no idea what changed in them, so updating so that you can have better analytic tools in the app is a good enough reason. Just don'l lie about what the update contains. Don't call it "bug fixes" if it isn't.


If user have to install updates they will look for something new in your app, and if they didn't find anything new in your app they will feel cheated.

Least you could do is

-- Make some changes in layout or color scheme based on usability testing feedback.

-- Put a 'post feedback' functionality if you don't have any

-- Put some deals or coupons in your app if you don't have any

  • Are you sure they'll feel cheated? Plenty of apps update with just 'bug fixes' or other such minor updates. Are you saying that users don't like updates like that either?
    – JonW
    Jan 13, 2013 at 12:16
  • 2
    Well, I personally think they might feel cheated if the only thing they notice is a poxy ad bar.
    – jim
    Jan 13, 2013 at 12:22
  • 1
    @JonW If I am using an app regularly and after update instead of updates I find advertisements I will probably feel cheated or mislead. But I don't mean to take a hard stand on this, just suggesting not to take a chance.
    – ripu1581
    Jan 13, 2013 at 12:25

Not that I recommend using , but one thing I suppose is rather common place in these kinds of situations is to add a "overly generalizing" point to the changelog. Something like

- general improvments to the application

The idea being that even if users find that there is no noticeable change other than the ad implementation, they still might think there was value added to their experience based on the changelog statement implying improvements.

Again, I would think twice before going this route, but it is a solution. In my view it is still better than announcing that an update has an exclusively negative impact on user experience, i.e. ads - and most likely it is not a straight-out lie as such, if you even improved the code in any way, which I am sure is something you do along the way of new implementations.

  • For the users ads are only bad so "general improvments to the application" is a bit misleading if you'd ask me.
    – jobukkit
    Jun 22, 2013 at 7:40

I had that problem come to my mind too, but in your app the main thing is keeping your users happy and satisfied.

Things to get across:

  1. Make them look like yours! The way Facebook does it on the feeds.
  2. Make sure you get feedback or collect feedback from customers.

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