Will Apple’s Ad Blocking Technology Ruin the Free Web?

Advertisements are one of the key techniques that websites use to sustain themselves. From banner ads to pop-ups, you can’t visit an informative website without seeing at least one ad.

Facebook has gone so far as to tailor ads to you based on your browsing history. Even social media services like Twitter and Instagram feature ‘Sponsored’ ads selectively placed in your feeds. And that’s because ads make money, but they also keep those services free. This is why many people are up in arms about Apple’s new mobile ad blocking feature in iOS 9.ios97

This could be a huge blow to the advertising industry, which currently rakes in around $70 billion. But analyst Andrew Frank told International Business Times that he suspects, “we’ll see the industry adjust to try to circumvent ad-blocking technology.” This could happen in a number of ways. From circumventing blacklists to placing ad content on their own servers, there are different ways in which publishers and advertisers can get around Safari’s ad blocking extensions.

Apple isn’t the only big company in the fight against pesky advertisements, either. Google announced on September 1st that will start blocking ads that use Adobe’s Flash software in their widely used Chrome internet browser. Ad blocking, though, isn’t exactly a new technology. It has been readily available on most internet browsers from some time.safari_ad_block_2

According to source Tech Times, ad blockers have a “small following of around six percent of global Internet users.” Some of the more popular ad blockers you may have heard of include Adblock Plus, Adguard, NoAds, Google Ad Blocker, and more, most of which are free to download.

The good news for advertisers is that there are ways around ad-blockers. For instance, popular ad blocking software Adblock Plus added a white-list function to their 2.0 version, “whereby content providers can add their sites to a list for which the software will allow ads.”

However, many sources have noted that most users don’t consider the benefit of advertisements. For one, ads pay for the content they can easily view on their laptop or mobile device at no cost to them. Eric Franchi of Undertone noted that, “Consumers don’t realize that advertising funds the content that they enjoy for free.

Regardless, mobile users will see a decrease in disruptive advertisements once Apple’s changes are in place. But Forbes contributor Robert Hof reminds us that in-app ads will not be blocked by this new extension, especially considering that these in-app ads are where Apple makes good money.

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