Google’s revenue might be heavily dependent on the advertising business, but it looks like the company is considering the idea of adding an ad-blocking feature to its Chrome browser, both on mobile and desktop, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The WSJ report is based on people familiar with the matter, and it claims ad-blocking will be on by default in the Chrome browser and will block pop-up ads, auto-playing video ads, etc. Essentially the annoying internet ads, that get even worse on a small mobile screen could all be blocked on the Google Chrome browser.
According to WSJ, Google is also exploring the idea of blocking all advertising that comes on sites, and might require website owners to have ads that meet the standards set up by Chrome. The report points out that in the US, nearly 26 per cent of users have some form of ad-block already available.
But in Google’s case this step is interesting given how dependent the company is on advertising revenue.
Google Chrome might not have any ad-blocking right now, but others like Opera browsers already have the feature installed in them by default. Apple’s iOS also supports ad-blocking tools now, (this was introduced with iOS 9 in 2015) and essentially users can download third-party apps to block video, banner ads on the Safari browser. In May 2016, Opera launched native ad-blocking in the desktop browser, as well as the Opera Mini mobile browser for Android.
While audiences can rejoice with the thought of an in-built ad browser in Chrome, for online publishers who are struggling to make revenue with digital platforms this won’t come as good news. Digital publishers are facing challenges from Facebook, Google and if the search giant considers ad-block on Chrome, it will just add to their troubles.