The advertising industry could lose $21 billion in revenue from ad blocking this year, and it may be in for more trouble with the launch of the AdBlock Browser in iOS.
AdBlock Plus added the browser to the iOS App Store in early September. The app focuses on cleaning the mobile Web of intrusive and malicious adverts. The iOS app comes a few weeks before Safari on iOS 9 — which comes with its own ad blocker — launches on iPhone and iPad.
“It has been very important for us to deliver our ad-blocking app to our iOS users who do more and more Web surfing from mobile devices,” said Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus. “With the popularity of the iOS platform in places like the United States, we considered it critical to offer an app in the Apple App Store.”
AdBlock Browser for iOS will come with a whitelist option for your favorite sites and acceptable ads will be turned on by default. Settings to disable tracking, social media buttons, and other website features are also available.
AdBlock Plus touts a “intuitive tab functionality,” which is different from Safari’s accordion style. It offers smoother scrolling, smarter bookmarking, and improved keyboard functionality. AdBlock Plus also claims users will be able to hide “malvertising,” a trend that has tripled in the past year on mobile.
In the announcement, AdBlock Plus thanked Apple for its help in bringing the app to iOS. Apple seems to be happy with other ad blocking services on iOS, despite previously banning these types of apps.
AdBlock Plus also announced the AdBlock Browser would be available on the Google Play store. It is the first time since 2013 that Google has allowed ad blocking software onto the store. It shows a big change in perspective from one of the biggest advert companies in the world.
More than 300,000 people were involved in a beta on Android for the AdBlock Browser, which has been running since May. AdBlock Plus aims to improve speeds on the Web and claims to save more than 20 percent battery life.
Even though the advertising industry is in despair over the lost revenue, AdBlock Plus seems committed to changing the standards of the industry. Newer advertising networks are learning to skirt around the blocks, working to create acceptable ads that are still effective.