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Safari 5’s reader removes ads – fears for publishers

Everyone has been talking about Steve Jobs keynote presentation at WWDC a few days ago, but one thing that the public aren’t mentioning is the fact that Safari 5 will have a prominent ad blocking option which will strip advertisements and other design code from any web page which appears to be ‘an article’.

Apple’s official description says “Safari Reader removes annoying ads and other visual distractions from online articles, so you get the whole story and nothing but the story.”

While many people may be already clapping in total support of this feature the ramifications for many websites and companies could be very damaging. Sure, most browsers can already block pop ads and flash content but this official stance has already got many agencies in a flutter. Safari 5 users have to manually remove ads for each page they want to view via the Reader feature, by clicking a button. Incidentally if you didn’t already know, Safari 5 is the default browser on the iPhone and the iPad.

I would personally assume that if the ads aren’t too obtrusive that many people will let them remain – after all that extra click is something many people won’t even bother doing. If like me, you see the laziness of the average user, then I think the panic might be a slight overreaction.

To further add a twist to the story however, advertisements won’t get blocked inside an iOS application, and if publishers want to run Apple iAds within their iPhone apps then Apple gets a 40 percent markup of ad revenue. Another win for Steve Jobs and the gang.

KitGuru: Will this affect advertising agencies in the long run? We aren’t so sure.

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