It looks like Adblock Plus may be selling out those using it to block all online advertising, with a confidential source recently telling the Financial Times that the company behind the popular add-on, has been taking payments to allow some adverts on to its whitelist. At least four companies, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Taboola have paid undisclosed sums to Eyeo GmbH to allow their adverts to get though it’s blocking add-on.
The free to download add-on is available for both Firefox and Chrome and this is obviously how the German startup plans to monetize their creation. Ben Williams, from Adblock Plus explained that “over 90 percent [of advertisers who apply] get whitelisted for free”. There is also an option to turn off these Adblock approved whitelists as well, so if you do want to keep using it at least you don’t have to see these whitelisted adverts.
This does demonstrate however that big online advertisers such as Google, do see advert blocking software as a threat to their business models. Google has even gone so far as to completely remove all ad blocking software from the Google Play market place, meaning that Android users have to go elsewhere to find a way to block intrusive adverts on their mobiles and tablets. Strangely it has not yet, removed Adblock Plus from the Chrome web browser store, but it knows that doing so would create a massive backlash against it’s browser.
While Adblock and similar tools are useful on some sites that are stuffed full of adverts and Flash adverts that are terrible for lower powered devices, these adverts do also support the sites that are being viewed and many would not exist at all without adverts. So maybe allowing some unobtrusive, non-targeted adverts though is not all that bad and will help sites provide you the content that you love.
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KitGuru Says: Adblock Plus and other similar tools have grown out of a need, due to the web becoming increasing covered in horrible, irrelevant and intrusive adverts. Even if this allows some unobtrusive adverts though I don’t think this is the end of the world. Do you use an ad blocker?