Note that this discussion is about ads provided via Tapjoy, which is different from Tapjoy offers
When I first saw that this game had Tapjoy integrated with it, I saw it as a red flag similar to when you see a website with outbrain/taboola sidebars. Still, I stayed, and I’m happy I did–I have enjoyed the game and I don’t think it’s as exploitative as other games are when it comes to making money, and on the “100% merit vs 100% pay to win” spectrum, I think it places quite respectably. (I won’t go into why Tapjoy offers are so scummy here, just google it).
Anyhow, as of late, I’ve been seeing a lot of ads that have had the markings of a scummy ad provider. Note that I’m not saying the ads are for scummy products/companies, but rather that the provider has taken certain liberties that are generally seen, even by ad providers, as scummy. For example:
- Hiding/not showing a countdown timer. Some Tapjoy ads show them, some don’t. Afaik, all Google and Facebook ads show timers.
- Hiding/not showing a mute button. Afaik, all Goofle and Facebook video ads have a mute button. I have the game volume to a fraction of the full volume because I want to be able to listen to music or podcasts while I’m on my phone. If I don’t want the volume of the game to be intrusive, why on earth would I want to hear some of the loud garbage music of these ads? Not having a mute button shows how little the ad network cares about the person viewing the ad.
- Interpreting any tap on the screen as a desire to be directed to the ad page or app install page. I can only picture Facebook ads here, but, even when the video is complete, they require an explicit tap of the action button before they launch the web page or play/app store link.
- Automatically launching the Play Store after every goddamn ad. Facebook and Google certainly do not do this. As mentioned above, when the video ends for a Facebook ad, the user is not automatically directed to the app store, they see the icon for the app they just saw a video for, a blurb, and then have the ability to tap a button if they are interested. Tapping anywhere but that button will not launch the Play Store. What Tapjoy does in this regard is downright depraved and you shouldn’t associate your app with a slimy piece of trash like Tapjoy.
- Clumsy way to opt out of targetted ads. Afaik, both Google and Facebook allow users to disable personalized ads from within the ad interface. Tapjoy redirects users to their webpage where they’re told to either disable ad-targetting on their device completely, or enter their phone’s ‘advertising ID’. The first option is silly and is Tapjoy’s way of saying “well, if we can’t target you, no one can”. Just like I don’t hate all ads, I don’t hate all targetted or contextual ads. Done right they can actually be quite helpful or interesting and they help keep content I love free. The second option is even less helpful as the link is buried, and there is no information as to what on earth the “Advertising ID” of a device is or how to identify theirs.
I know you get better rates for running scummy ads vs ‘reasonable’ ads but this is a short-sighted decision. It makes players like myself not want to engage with the game because of the irritating/invasive ads and it also erodes my trust in the intentions of the developers.