Browser maker Opera has integrated a native adblocker into both the stable versions of Opera for computers as well as Opera Mini for Android. According to the company it adblocking enables to speed up page loading by as much as 89% compared to browsers without ad blocking, and 45% faster than Chrome using adblock extensions.
The browser maker adds that removing online ads will also save money on the data bill for mobile users, up to around 14%. Users can activate this feature under the ‘O’ menu in Opera Mini where users can turn the option on or off. On computers the adblocker can be enabled in settings, and can be deactivated for specific websites through the address bar. Like adblockers on Chrome, Opera will display the number of ads blocked.
Note that Opera had launched its native built-in adblocker in March for desktop browser users. 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. Other features introduced by Opera in the new update include the ability to add websites to the mobile home screen and a video pop out feature on computers.
Opera VPN for all:
Last month Opera started including a VPS service free of charge with its ‘Developer’ version of the browser. It allows Opera users to choose between the firm’s VPN servers in the US, Canada, and Germany for now. The company mentioned that this would help in improving public Wi-Fi security, hiding the IP address, and bypassing website access restrictions.
Resistance toward adblockers:
It’s worth noting that publications such as the Washington Post 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 and Wired Magazine now requires users to disable ad blockers or buy a subscription.
Similarly in March, following an appeal by French trade organization GESTE, a number of French media publications decided to run a week long trial which would stop users using adblockers from accessing content. The publications involved include Le Monde, Le Figaro, RTE, Le Parisien, L’Equipe and music platform Deezer.
Each publication had taken its own approach to combat ad blockers. L’Equipe is forcing users to disable ad blockers to access content. While Le Parisien is shows a message saying that users must disable ad blockers or whitelist their pages or pay €1.12 for three months for the same.
Adblock Plus to pay publishers:
Yesterday, Adblock Plus teamed up with Swedish microdonation startup Flattr to try to help more publishers, writers, and artists get paid for their work online.To use it, users need to create an account and set a monthly budget of how much they would like to spend for looking at stuff on the web. The money will then be distributed depending on how much time a user spends on each website.
In September last year, Adblock Plus released a mobile browser for Android 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.
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 whitelist 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. Features like adding a way for users to pay publishers when browsing adblocked websites, will also help in appeasing publishers while providing users a way to pay for content they find valuable.