Type of site
|File Hoster Website|
|Available in||Dutch, Spanish, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Polish, Arabic, English, Japanese, Bulgarian, Swedish and others|
|Created by||Tomás Diago|
|Revenue||$25 to $50 million (USD) per year|
Softonic.com is a software and app discovery portal based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, and founded in 1997 and owned by Softonic International. It reaches over 100 million users per month, and at its height of popularity delivered more than 6 million downloads per day.
Softonic started in 1997 as a file-oriented download service called Shareware Intercom, at Intercom Online (Grupo Intercom), a provider of Internet services in Cerdanyola del Vallès, near Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain). Files for the website originally came from the "Files Library Intercom BBS" at Intercom Online, using a "5-step semi-automated process", which was later greatly simplified. The company also offered monthly CDs of its software library for users tired of "having to wait for downloads to complete or pay exorbitant phone bills." In 1999, the service was described as having a "generosity of games, antivirus, education and the long, seductive etcetera." In 2000, the company became independent under the name Softonic. In 2004, Softonic was made available in German, and in 2005, English. Initially the service was oriented only to downloads of DOS and Windows software, but it evolved to offer software downloads for Mac and mobile platforms.
Softonic was listed as the "Best place to work in Spain (100-250 employees)" in an annual study by the Great Place to Work Institute, in 2009-2011, and as second-best in 2008. In 2009 and 2011, the site was listed as having the most unique visitor traffic in Spain by audit bureau OJD Interactiva.
At the end of 2014, Softonic announced that a headcount reduction procedure would be carried out as a cost-cutting measure, allegedly due to financial, productional and organizational reasons. In December, the company formalized the dismissal of 156 employees, against the initial estimation of 207.
Allegations of viruses
In recent years, Softonic has been under fire from various online communities for the alleged turnaround of free and copyrighted software made by third parties, embedding the software with malware, adware, and viruses.
Despite these accusations, Softonic continuously increases their repository of free software, and has created a custom installer for delivering the targeted software along with various other optional programs. Many online creators warn users against using Softonic as a downloading agent and recommend downloading the software from the creator's own website.
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