Just like Apple did it a few months ago, Samsung has released an operating system update that makes blocking ads on smartphones possible, at least on Samsung Internet browser. It will be supporting an array of content and ad blocking plug-ins for the Samsung Internet browser that is pre-installed on all its Android phones. The update is being pushed to Samsung smartphones with Android Lollipop and newer versions of the smartphone operating system. This will significantly reduce web page loading times and mobile data usage. Some claim that the time needed for loading webpages is reduced by 50% once the ads have been blocked.
Ad blocking was introduced in many PC-based browsers first when people began to get really fed up of the slew of advertisements that bombard their monitors as soon as they visit particular websites. For example, there are many extensions and add-ons available that allow you to block ads. Mozilla Firefox introduced ad blocking just a couple of months ago. There is a new browser called Brave that blocks ads altogether. An ability to block ads on mobile phones is more preferable to users because the screen size is already smaller compared to a PC or laptop. On a PC or a laptop there is still some scope of wading through the clutter of advertisements and accessing the actual content.
Apple in September incorporated the ad blocking feature right into the operating system iOS 9, a feature that was called “content blocker”. This feature allows users to install apps that block trackers, advertisements and all sort of unwanted content. Some analysts claim that this was a direct attack on Google’s revenue because most of Google’s revenue comes from Internet advertising.
Samsung’s new API works in the same manner. App developers can build ad blocking extensions for the Samsung Internet browser which is shipped by default on almost all Samsung devices. Only those install another browser who have a particular preference.
Right now the ad blocking feature is only available in the Samsung Internet browser.
The age-old debate of whether it is ethical or not to block ads when you are consuming content is again going to be raked up. After all the publishers of content and apps need to make money for the effort they are putting in. For example, although I enjoy writing blog posts for TechBakBak.com, it will be more rewarding if I can also make some money. There are three ways I can make money off this blog: publishing ads, promoting affiliate programs and charging for content.
Charging for content is something that hasn’t crossed my mind and I don’t think it is going to cross my mind ever because that has never been my intention. Neither do I have the expertise and the resources to create content people would actually, gladly, pay for. So advertising and promoting affiliate programs remains the only option. When people use ad blockers, obviously this is not good news.
But the problem is not with people wanting to block ads, the problem is with publishers going over the board, using a smattering of advertisements everywhere. Sometimes it is difficult to make out whether you’re looking at ads or content, there are so many ads.
So a balance needs to be achieved if publishers want people to become more tolerant towards Internet ads and don’t pay much attention to the ad blocking features. People look for solutions if they have problems. If they don’t have problems, they don’t go to the trouble of finding solutions. Internet advertising should be of the form that it doesn’t pose problems for people.