Broswer maker Opera announced that its latest desktop browser is now coming with a native built-in ad blocker. The company says that it is doing this so that web pages can load faster and claims it can cut page-loading times by as much as 90% by avoiding various third-party ad networks deliver promotional messages to users..
The company also claims that its ad-blocking feature is on average 45% faster compared to browsing on Google Chrome with the AdBlock Plus extension, on its blog.
Opera’s ad-blocking feature is deactivated by default. While browsing, the browser will detect whether there are ads that can be blocked, and it will suggest enabling the ad-blocking feature.
Opera says that users can disable ad-blocking on a website and the website will added to an exception list, which they can manage from the settings.
“We added some sites there for you to test with – feel free to alter the list and add the sites you find that offer a good experience with ads enabled. Just to give some credit – CNET and TechCrunch appear to offer very good experience to their users with ads on – with only marginal delays in page loading,” it added in the blog.
It’s also worth noting that publications such as the Washington Post also forced users to disable ad blockers to access their content in the past. City AM, a London financial newspaper, has been blocking the text of stories on Firefox browsers with ad blocking enabled since October, as indicated by this Information Week report.
Also read: On Ad Blockers and the impact on Media
Developments in ad blockers
– In February, Google, which started blocking ad-blockers from the Play Store earlier, has stopped doing so after revising its policy. The company would now allow ad-blockers that were built for Samsung’s browser to stay online. Samsung recently rolled out adblocking on its browser for Android devices that would allow third-party developers to to build apps for blocking ads.
– In November last year, Yahoo blocked some users of Yahoo Mail from accessing their email until they turn off their ad blocking software. More on that here.
– September last year, AdblockPlus released a mobile browser forAndroid and iOS. This is after Eyeo, the company which makes the extension for browsers, encountered problems in creating adblocking software for mobile devices. More here.
– In the same month, Apple allowed third party ad blocker extensions for the Safari browser on the iPhone.
As more browsers adopt ad blocking technologies, white listing websites which have ads that re non intrusive and do not ruin the browsing experience will become crucial. It is also necessary to give the power to white list websites to users rather than the ad blockers themselves. Already ad blockers are being likened to a cartel and publishers like Axel Springer are seeking court-ordered bans on them.
Adblock Plus, a popular, browser extension which filters ads in September said that it would allow certain ads that are non-intrusive. At the time, Adblock Plus planned to allow an independent review board to determine whether ads qualify as “acceptable” and are allowed to pass through its filters, as indicated by this Wall Street Journal report.
The report added that Adblock Plus allows ads from some 700 companies to pass through its filters by default, provided those ads meet its “acceptable ads” policy and aren’t too disruptive or intrusive to users. Eyeo (Adblock Plus’ parent company) has accepted payment from around 70 of those companies, including Google, Microsoft and Taboola, in exchange for including them in the acceptable ads program.