‘You don’t have to be a journalist to work on this’: here’s proof that tech apps aren’t always free of adverts

You might have heard that apps have evolved so much in recent years that most tech gifts these days are more or less self-sufficient. Think that’s an exaggeration? Well, this year The Guardian has…

'You don't have to be a journalist to work on this': here's proof that tech apps aren't always free of adverts

You might have heard that apps have evolved so much in recent years that most tech gifts these days are more or less self-sufficient.

Think that’s an exaggeration?

Well, this year The Guardian has developed an undercover investigation by checking on the adverts in popular apps.

A screenshot from the app AdFeed.

We found that advertising on popular messaging apps like WhatsApp, Messenger and Facebook Messenger is far more focused on selling products rather than providing vital digital utility.

And there’s plenty of evidence of this.

For example, one app invited us to a birthday party for an in-app gift token.

Another bookended the app with ads for the latest clothing collections.

And yet another advert urged us to purchase a locker service.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but bear in mind that some of these apps are popular and include popular services like Messenger and WhatsApp.

For the rest of the apps, we just pulled from the four main App Stores: iTunes, Google Play, Android Play and the Amazon Appstore.

These are some of the hard-to-buy-for tech gifts you might have a hard time finding this Christmas.

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