It looks like Matt has gone and admitted that WordPress.com is not totally free of advertising like many people had thought.
In our previous post, What’s your favorite feature?, a few of you listed â€œno adsâ€ as one of yourfavorite features of WordPress.com. This made me uncomfortable-it’s not accurate, and I want to clarify.
Since the ad test about 6 weeks ago there have been ads. Where? We very occassionally show Adsense (contextual text ads) on post and tag pages.
Why? To allow us to focus on free features in addition to paid and to offset costs of rapidly rising traffic.
Many people thought that WordPress.com was completely advertisement free, and feel that showing advertisements to their users is a little bit of a cheat. They knew the service was free, and that this could eventually happen. I guess most people expected that premium features was their money maker. I think this new information may turn off some of their current users. Many have already asked for a premium service where they don’t have any advertisements shown to their readers.
This will be an interesting little fight, but it is nice that Matt did take the time and consideration to let everyone know that they are working on integrating advertisements. It won’t be often, but they will be there from time to time. I hope this doesn’t hurt the service too much, as they still provide a great product. I too, would like to see a cheap premium addition allowing the full removal of any said advertisements.