In a move that might come as a surprise to most of the tech industry, Google is reportedly planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature to its Chrome browser on both mobile and desktop platforms. While the search giant itself earns considerable revenue from advertising, people familiar with the matter believe that this move is expected to be made to keep other ad-blocking tools in check. This should also come as welcome news for Android users, as the usually preloaded Google Chrome browser for Android has for a long time had the distinction of not supporting ad-blocking, neither natively or via extension.
The search giant is planning to introduce its Chrome browser ad-blocking feature, which could be switched-on by default, to filter out the ads that will be considered unacceptable for the users as per the list of ad types released by Coalition for Better Ads last month, as per a report by WSJ. According to the released list by the industry group, ad types including "pop-up ads, prestitial ads, ads with density greater than 30%, flashing animated ads, auto-play video ads with sound, poststitial ads with countdown, full-screen scrollover ads, and large sticky ads" were described to be "beneath the initial Better Ads Standard."
If you are wondering why Google would have this change of heart about advertising, the company's aim behind streamlining the advertisements is to curb the growth of third-party ad-blocking applications, people familiar with matter told WSJ. Pushing out its own ad-blocking feature might help the search giant to prevent users from installing extensions, which will most likely tune out all ads instead of selected ones.
Notably, Google is already a part of "Acceptable Ads" program by Eyeo GmbH (the company behind popular AdBlock Plus tool) to enable advertising on its search engine to pass through its filters. Considering that Chrome is a popular browser choice, in case Google does introduce the aforementioned tool, it might end up creating a huge problem for the other ad-blocking tools. Notably, Apple enabled ad blocking on its mobile operating system with iOS 9 in 2015. Since then many users have shown interest in these tools.
As we mentioned of course, the move if true would be a great relief to Android users. The preloaded browser is a very popular choice on Android, and users are often subjected to pop-ups and download requests - many of them malicious. While Google may do its part on Android security, the minefield it willingly lets users traverse in daily browsing is a dangerous one. Google is long overdue in such an implementation.