Remember the old times when ads opened multiple pop-ups while you tried to stag productive at work? It seems like those days are heading our way yet again. The company behind the popular ‘advertisement blocker’ software AdBlocker Plus (ABP), Eyeo will start selling advertisements.
The company was built with the entire idea that the internet should be faster and free without the extra added advertisements which would take up your entire page. The software that would help you stay focused instead of trying to find the close buttons in the obtrusive advertisements will now sell advertisements using “The Acceptable Ads Platform.” And well the platform will have its dedicated marketplace where publishers and companies can submit their advertisements to be submitted. According to reports, the market place will be called “Ad Exchange” where publishers can sell and place advertisement space on their webpages as reported by WSJs . This is a far-cry from what the entire idea of Ad-blocking was.
To give you the real sense of why this move is a complete u-turn, let us bring you back to the world full of ads. Ads varied from full paged ads, windowed ads to javascript ads where the close button would actively avoid your mouse pointer. You would surf the internet where almost every second or third page would throw a bunch of advertisements to you. There advertisements you distract you from your work and sometimes serve completely inappropriate content to the users at the most delicate times.
The pop outs were outrageous, in your face and most of the times, the sole reason of you infecting your computer with viruses if you accidently click any of the popups. Every ad would claim free content or pretend to be the download button at the side of the actual download button where you would download that freeware software after some trial and error method to figure out which buttons were advertisements and what was the real stuff.
Pop-outs ads were the active source of many harmful adwares, malwares, viruses, pishing attacks and even spywares to the computers. The number of ads and potentially harmful programs that could be delivered using ads took a significant amount of processing power. Ads along with click-bait rogue app installs slowed down the computer systems, considerably with some programs employing elaborate mechanisims to be hard to uninstall. The menace so prevelant and excessive that after some time installing an ad blocker was the first on the check list of local computer (software) engineers whenever they visited to fix up the computer. This was the quick fix for performance as well as security and other problems were fixed later.
The idea behind ad-blockers was to help users make efficient and not have them jump around being cautious in closing the advertisements, to be productive with the focus on time. After the launch of Adblocker Plus in 2006 and Adblock in 2009, the usage of AdBlock usage sky rocketed over the years. The popularity rocketed from 21 million in January 2010 to 181 million in January 2015 according to a report by PageFair and Adobe as reported by fortune. Ad-blocking was a separate software area where different apps ‘popped-up’ to stop the advertisements.
The publish, and advertising companies had to shift their advertising models with newer technologies to deliver ads to consumers. Some of the instances were not particularly popular where Google implemented embedded advertisements, and youtube advertismenst served malware to users. The most recent attempt was done by Facebook where it included embedded post level advertising which was bypassed in just two days as reproetd by engadget. This prompted Facebook to patch the workaround that disabled the ads from being blocked as reported by techcrunch
Publishers have long argued that ad-blocking has stopped the revenue streams that helped run websites and publications free of cost. Some of the publications and websites have locked themselves behind a payment wall where people have to pay to consume their content. This move has been counterproductive for both sides but still ad blockers argue that people will pay for good content and not forced down advertisements.
This war between adblocking community and advertisers have been going on for almost half a decade where both sides have improved their game. The concept of embedded advertising where advertisers contact and pay content makers to user their products in the video was born to serve users advertisements in a more subtle way after AdBlock usage peaked. But, regardless the new move by Eyeo to decide of things for the suers by saying “Acceptable Ads was a pivot toward what we think is better” and enabling acceptable ads is against the central idea. The previous implementation of the concept was much better where you had the option to turn on acceptable ads in the settings if you wanted to support the websites you likes surfing.
This move has split the user opinion and is sure to make users shift to other ad-blocking solutions like Adblock, Opera browser (which blocks ads by default and other additional solutions like opera VPN which would block ads on the network level.


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