Surprisingly, the Adblock Plus for Chrome Ad Blocker has been downloaded over 500 million times — and is one of the most popular and trusted adblocker on the market. Where users get fast, sleek ad-blocking capabilities to enjoy streaming sites like YouTube interruption-free.
Initially, it all used to be very simple. With a billboard here, a radio or television commercial there, etc. Perhaps a print ad or two thrown in for good measure. That was your marketing strategy, and it worked. So, why should we care about Adblock Plus? Well, it’s very complicated.
Back in the day, marketing messages were everywhere as they are today. But, one thing has fundamentally shifted in favor of the consumer. They now have the ability to tune them out, skip them entirely, or block them completely.
What Is Adblock Plus?
Adblock Plus — the most popular ad blocker for desktop browsers — is a free and open-source (GPLv3+) web browser extension. It allows online users to surf the Internet without having to face any annoying ads. With a mission to give web users control over what they see online.
Of course, that always included the option to not block ads on specific websites. But this feature becomes even more convenient with the new version. Whereby, you’ll experience a more clean and faster web as you block all annoying ads. Only Acceptable Ads are allowed by default for site support.
Unfortunately, we all need ads to market our brands, businesses, services, solutions, products, and/or even monetize our websites. And like the thumb rule, we need to attract visitors to click those ads. But, those same visitors that we die-hard trying to convert, also claim to despise ads.
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Personally, I am in love with all the new features in this adblocker. Now that previously, users had to always remember to turn Adblock Plus on and on again. Especially each time they visited other parts of the website. That’s if they didn’t want to see loads of blinking advertisements.
For instance, DVR allows viewers to fast-forward through commercials. While Podcast and YouTube ads can be skipped immediately or after a few seconds. Streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime are commercial-free. Good old-fashioned terrestrial radio is on life support.
Therefore, let’s not forget even a little bit about AdBlock Plus and other similar services. They may seem like just tiny web extensions or standalone browsers, yet, they’re dedicated to a better user experience.
Why Do People Use Adblockers?
Eventually, we’ve all entered the Age of Ad Blocking, banner blindness tough times, and instant gratification too. And although patience may be a virtue, it seems to be in dwindling supply. Ain’t nobody got time for commercials and ads (unless it’s the Super Bowl).
And if you think the solution is using an Adblock wall — restricting or prohibiting access to content until users turn it off — you should think again. For one thing, 74% of your users will simply leave your site. Perse, it might even seem like a catch-22. These tools either block or filter advertising content from websites, pages, and apps.
The main reason why most people choose to use the technology includes exposure to malware attacks, frequent interruptions, speed issues, too many ads, and privacy concerns. In fact, eMarketer predicted that 45% of all internet users will be blocking ads by the end of 2021.
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It’s important to realize, that Adblock usage is always highly driven by specific problems within the delivery systems of online advertising. Therefore, it’s not a rejection of digital advertising itself. Recently, many studies — by PageFair, MarketingSherpa, and HubSpot – have been conducted on web users.
In order to understand why some people choose to block ads, these studies are very relevant. And as a result, if you look closely at some of these reasons why people use ad blockers — for some quick insight, you’ll even get totally surprised. You’ll notice quite a bit of overlap too.
First of all, most people don’t like intrusive ads or ads that negatively affect a particular web page’s performance. Secondly, according to research by As well as sketchy ads, ads that are irrelevant, even ads that are annoying, etc.
Who Implements The Acceptable Ads Rules?
Adblocking may drive publishers toward paywalls, but I strongly believe ad blocking is here to stay. What’s really putting the free and open web at risk is not ad blockers. Instead, it’s that there are too many spots available for online ads. There’s a vicious cycle where ads are more and more aggressive while, at the same time, they’re less and less valuable.
While there are many different reasons given for using an ad blocker, the bottom-line motivation is pretty simple. Either users are sick of being bombarded by ads and experiencing their effects on the user experience, or they have security or privacy concerns.
That’s why, as an example, the Adblock Plus parent company — eyeo — is on a mission to put internet users in control of a fair, profitable web. Not to mention, it’s also the developer of a suite of other products. Including Flattr, Adblock Browser, and now Adblock Plus (you can visit the official website for more).
Back in 2011, eyeo launched the Acceptable Ads program to codify its standards for ad usage. And that Adblock Plus wouldn’t block websites that agree to cooperate to acceptable ads agreements and get on its whitelist. To meet the requirements, ads can’t be too large, flashy, or intrusive.
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When it comes to acceptable ad rules, it’s a matter of striking the right balance between what users like and what websites need. By default, Adblock Plus blocks ads for all sites that aren’t on eyeo’s whitelist. Even though some of its nearly 170 employees are hired to keep publishers from sneaking past the system.
You can set Adblock Plus to block all ads. Fortunately, more than 90 percent of companies on eyeo’s whitelist don’t have to pay to participate. Only larger publishers showing more than 10 million Acceptable Ads per month have to pay eyeo a 30% of the resulting revenue.
In 2017, eyeo set up the work as a nonprofit with participation from other companies (committee) involved in online advertising. Its 50 members include ad technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, and others in the industry. Another outfit, the Coalition for Better Ads, serves a similar role.
And that’s the one Google chose when looking at standards for the Chrome ad-blocking policy, which began in 2018 for websites that overused ads. That was a notable move given that Google, in addition to making the dominant web browser, is one of the biggest online-ad players and operates some of the internet’s biggest online services.
Why Is Adblock Plus The Best Adblocker?
Just like that, Adblocking is becoming a built-in option in some browsers like Opera and UC Browser. Just like how Brave lets you stop them in their tracks by enabling it automatically. Adblock itself is joining the trend, too.
From the team behind Adblock Plus, they’ve introduced a brand new Adblock Browser App that’s now available for your Android devices (get it on Google Play now). What’s more, with Adblock Plus 3.8 (for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera), you’ll even be able to support your favorite content creators.
The new version includes a feature that helps users whitelist single blog articles or YouTube videos with just a click of a button. Instead of whitelisting an entire website. Not forgetting, Adblock Plus 3.8 is also available for the new Microsoft Edge as well. And it has even been moved from Beta to the full version.
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Now whitelisting is more comfortable and users don’t have to think about re-activating their ad blocker anymore. Additionally, users maybe don’t want to support the whole website, but only a dedicated content piece on sites like YouTube. Both issues have been solved with the new version. This is a feature that the community wished for and Adblock Plus has listened to their feedback.
Speaking of listening and feedback, getting in touch with the users is incredibly valuable for this company that is so closely linked to the Open Source Community. And they want to give Adblock Plus users even more possibilities. Like communicating with them directly (get help if needed) on where they can get better.
How To Download & Use Adblock Plus
In nutshell, Adblock Plus is a great example of an open-source project that aims to rid the Internet of annoying and intrusive online advertising. And fair enough, it’s even a free web browser extension. With add-ons to put web users in full control at all times. By letting them block or filter whichever ads they want or don’t want to see.
To date, the free ad blocker extension is used by over 100 million people around the world. You can easily download it for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera for desktop users. And then additionally, eyeo also offers the free Adblock browser app for mobile users on both iOS and Android.
Simply put, what I can say is that Adblock Plus allows you (the web users) to have faster and more enjoyable browsing. By blocking ads that interrupt your browsing experience. Therefore, you can now comfortably say goodbye to video ads, pop-ups, flashing banners, and more.
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After all, blocking these annoyances means pages load faster. This also greatly helps you to keep your data and devices safe since avoiding tracking and malware is easy. While also keeping in mind, that blocking intrusive ads reduces the risk of “malvertising” infections.
Equally important, blocking tracking also helps stop companies from following your online activity. However, not all ads are bad for many websites to need money to stay free and afloat. All you can do is support them by allowing Acceptable Ads (enabled by default). Want to hide all ads? No problem (you can learn how in more detail).
Through manifest v3 policy, the Google Chrome team is adding new limits to web extensions. Including ad blockers, in an effort to improve security, privacy, and performance. Unfortunately for ad blockers, that puts limits on rules they use to probe website elements — for example, finding if an ad comes from a whitelisted internet domain.
Tracker blocking is catching on, with notable moves in Apple’s Safari, Mozilla’s Firefox, and Brave’s today software. Some additional tracking protections are coming to Microsoft Edge and even Chrome, too. That’s on top of tracker blocking from extensions like uBlock Origin, DuckDuckGo, Privacy Badger, and Ghostery.
According to my research, Adblock Plus doesn’t block tracking by default through the Acceptable Ads program — it’s up for the users to decide. If you don’t like Facebook and Twitter tracking you, there’s also an option to disable the social sharing and like buttons.
Although some consumers don’t mind tracking — and want to support the websites they use — others are just more concerned about privacy. But when users engage the stiffer privacy controls, that shuts off the revenue for a whole platform like eyeo, and not just publishers.
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I can now clarify that Google Chrome isn’t killing ad blockers any time soon (as seen in this article by CNET). Now that it even lifted the earlier proposed rules limit from 30,000 to 150,000. But some content-blocking extensions are already saying that it’s not enough. And that’s after months of discussion and user threats to quit Chrome if it hurts ad blockers.
Google has said it wants to continually allow content-blocking extensions, though, and I don’t expect Adblock Plus to be crippled soon either. On the contrary, Google has legitimate security concerns, but I believe its engineers can find a solution that doesn’t hobble blockers.
Finally, what if Google Chrome goes ahead anyway? Well, other browsers too will swoop in to claim disaffected users. With that in mind, do you think Adblock Plus is worth it? Please, let us know what you have to say in our comments section. You can also share your additional contributions, suggestions, and questions or even Contact Us if you’ll need more help.