The conversation surrounding adblockers has been conducted with fervent intensity on both sides of the issue, and Asus’ decision to enable ad-blocking features by default in its browsers likely won’t douse the flames, reports Motherboard.
Asus’ decision was reached thanks to an agreement with AdBlock Plus, under which Adblock Plus’ software will be baked into Asus’ proprietary browser across its spectrum of devices, which include laptops, smartphones, and tablets. As AdBlock Plus co-founder and CEO Till Faida pointed out in a recent statement, Asus is the first hardware manufacturer to integrate adblocking into its products.
“This is another call for innovation in the ad industry — a call getting louder by the day,” said Faida.
AdBlock Plus does run its own Acceptable Ads program, through which AdBlock Plus scopes out ads and decides whether they are unobtrusive enough to be whitelisted.
The topic of adblocking has been elevated in recent months, particularly in September when Apple released iOS 9, which brought with it the ability for third-party developers to create ad-blocking add-ons for Safari. Things intensified further when Google announced YouTube Red, a subscription service that provides an ad-free experience throughout YouTube if you pay $10 per month.
YouTube argued that its service was affected after ad-blocking surged in popularity in recent years, as this prevented the Google-owned online video service from reaching profitability. Therein lies the crux of the argument against ad-blocking, which cuts off many websites and content creators from income they could acquire through online advertising.
On the other hand, others argue that online advertising hasn’t moved the needle in terms of increased sales in quite some time, and that marketers’ increasingly frantic efforts have caused it to become obtrusive and bloated.
The debate has had its fair share of winners and losers, including a developer that pulled his ad-blocking Safari add-on from the App Store back in September due to feelings of guilt. Meanwhile, the two biggest U.K. carriers announced that they will look into ad-blocking for mobile in an effort to improve mobile ads and mobile advertising as a whole.
Services like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest have remained neutral on the topic of advert blocking, though Yahoo blocked access to its mail client if users utilized adblockers.