HTC holds a place in history in helping to pioneer the Android platform. Back in those days, HTC was kicking tail and taking names, and more importantly, making some serious bank. Things have changed since Android was a newborn on the smartphone scene, and now HTC finds itself slashing sales forecasts and putting up with takeover rumors. Though HTC contends it isn't for sale, the company is looking for ways to turn around it fortunes, and one of those ways is through ads.
In what seems like a bad move to us, HTC this week began rolling out an update to its BlinkFeed app that will beam "a limited number of promotions" to its handsets. HTC says the pilot program is being trialed in a limited number of markets, including the U.S., U.K., Germany, Taiwan, and China.
HTC phone owners who live in one of the affected markets will see native and "relevant" promotions of sponsored ads from AdNetworks partners. Among the partners are Yahoo, Twitter, and Appia. HTC will also send its own ads for new accessories and devices.
As native ads, the promotions will appear as regular BlinkFeed posts and not a pop-up or banner ad. We presume these will be easily identifiable. It's also important to know that you can opt out of receiving these ads, though they're turned on by default.
It's not clear how long HTC will test the BlinkFeed ads or if they'll become permanent. For now, the company says it's analyzing their effectiveness and that "it's too soon for us to say when or if these promotions will be rolled out to additional markets."