Over the past few days, many users of Yahoo Mail are reporting that the company is preventing people from accessing their accounts if the service detects the presence of any ad blocking software on the system. According to people who claim to have been affected, a message saying, “Please disable Ad Blocker to continue using Yahoo Mail” is greeting them every time they’re trying to log in to their Yahoo Mail accounts, until they turned off their ad blockers. The problem however, is not universal, and most Yahoo Mail users aren’t affected by it so far. Meaning, Yahoo is probably testing the viability of blocking out a large section of its users, before deploying it widely.
When contacted by media outlets, a spokeswoman for Yahoo confirmed that a trial is indeed underway, but stopped short of disclosing if the company is ultimately considering blocking out all its users who have ad blocking software installed on their systems. According to her, “At Yahoo, we are continually developing and testing new product experiences. This is a test we’re running for a small number of Yahoo Mail users in the U.S.” It is worth noting that with the increasing popularity of ad blockers, websites and services that are heavily reliant on advertising revenue, are starting to feel the pinch. Google had banished Adblock Plus from the Play Store back in 2013 because it was allegedly violating the ‘Terms and Conditions’ of listing. It was only a couple of months ago that the Mountain View-based search giant, the lion’s share of whose revenues comes from advertising, allowed the Adblock Browser into the Play Store.
Coming to how the recent incident with Yahoo Mail came to light in the first place, some users started complaining about Yahoo’s latest action on the forums of Adblock Plus, which is by far and wide the most widely used ad blocking extension for Firefox and Chrome on desktop environments. With Yahoo being primarily a service-oriented company, much like Google, advertising revenue is of paramount importance to it. Apple meanwhile, is a company that relies primarily on its hardware sales than software services, meaning, it is largely unaffected by people using ad blocking services. Hence, ad blocking apps such as Purify and AdBlock Browser can be easily downloaded from the Apple App Store.