Many mobile device users dislike website advertisements. They distract from the underlying article with shiny animations, sometimes with sound effects, videos or similar, sucking up our bandwidth and battery life. For website publishers, advertisements might be considered a necessary evil: advertising revenues fund the site itself, and whilst some websites seem to have more adverts than content, these adverts are necessary in order to keep the site up and running. Over the years, we’ve seen a number of technologies used in order to curtail the quantity and type of adverts used in websites and newsfeeds and one of the resulting products is AdBlock Plus, which is a browser extension that has relatively recently been made available for mobile devices. The AdBlock Plus extension does allow some adverts through, called Acceptable Ads, whereby they are vetted to be unobtrusive and malware-free: customers will still see some advertisements, but these will be reduced.
ASUS have announced today that from early 2016, they are to incorporate AdBlock Plus technology into their proprietary browser that ships with all of their products. Not only will the technology be embedded into the browser but it will be enabled by default. Now, as well as the bandwidth and battery life savings, blocking adverts is a way to reduce the likelihood that your mobile device will be infected by malware, although this may well depend on the quality of websites the user is visiting. And whilst the Asus Browser currently have a user base of around fifteen million customers, could be the start of a change in the industry. We are unlikely to see Google install the AdBlock Plus extension into the Chrome browser, as Google relies on advertising revenues, but it is possible that other manufacturers will follow ASUS’ move and include the AdBlock Plus technology, or something comparable, into their mobile browsers. Till Faida, AdBlock Plus’ co-founder and Chief Executive Officer, said this on the matter: “We’re extremely happy to team up with ASUS, the first major hardware manufacturer to integrate ad blocking into their mobile devices. This is another call for innovation in the ad industry – a call getting louder by the day.”
The concept of unobtrusive adverts is a welcome one. We are also seeing similar technologies introduced across the industry such as Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages, which are designed to make the mobile Internet that much quicker and will allow compatible adverts to still present. We’ve already seen how Apple have allowed advert blockers, which has had an impact on the advertising and media industry. Should Samsung decide to use a third party advert blocked for the next Galaxy S model, this could push change upon the media sector: then again, in-your-face adverts are almost universally disliked and perhaps change is overdue.