Adblockers are nothing new, and the digital advertising world has already had to face up to the disappearance of certain formats such as pop-ups, but Adblockers have recently returned to the limelight once again, thanks to all those who are for, or against, large companies such as Apple and Facebook.
What are Adblockers?
Adblockers are easy to use and once installed can block all banners. They even allow you to set filters and allow advertising just from certain websites, but, as is to be expected, this needs more knowledge and takes extra effort. The most popular blocker, AdBlock Plus, has launched an intermediate proposal. A program of acceptable adverts that would allow you to see publicity that meets certain requirements set by you. But this is still controversial, as a private company would have to evaluate these requirements, and it would be necessary to sign an agreement with said company to enter their “white list”, and while small websites can request to become part of this list for free, it would seem that some of the larger companies are paying to make these agreements.
But adblockers have also become a source of contention because, due to the ease of installation of these applications, the number of users has grown in the last years, creating a gap between users and those whose online income is being affected; those with ventures financed by advertising, such as online publications, bloggers, YouTubers, etc. According to an IAB report, 50% of Internet Users in Spain know about Adblockers, but only half use them, that equals some 5.6 million Internet users between the ages of 16 and 60. Despite the fact that 3 of every 4 internet users are away that advertising is a means of having free access to content, 45% would prefer there be no publicity, and 68% say they would block it if they could.
Some are already foretelling the end of advertising, while others are opting for better quality, making users aware of the need for advertising to be able to access Internet content for free.
Adblockers VS Facebook
The latest great battle in this area is between the most well-known blocker, Adblock Plus, and Facebook. This is a long standing problem; Facebook is not against members using this tool, but highlights their effort to make advertising relevant, personalised for their users. This position has meant they refused to pay AdBlock Plus to manage their entry into the “whitelist” of acceptable advertisers, they have also made their advertising code indistinguishable from organic code, so the blocking filter is not effective. AdBlock Plus’s answer has been equally emphatic, they have created a new Facebook filter.
Adblockers and the future of Advertising
It is not hard to see that this war will continue, and in a way will be a reflexion on the user’s ability when faced with digital advertising. Some mediums have opted for a very radical measure, to block visits from users with adblockers, while others request users to add them to their filter of advertisers.
Adblockers themselves should enable the use of filters to display adverts that the users consider helpful on pages where they consume content, so as to allow the financing of those creating the content.
Ultimately it would seem necessary, that when faced with a global dilemma, that involves large amounts of money, and the sides are so radically opposed, what should be taken into account is the opinion of the user, who will be the one who decides whether to block the advert or not.