Ads, they’re annoying but necessary. Adblock Plus, a well-known Chrome and Firefox plugin, has changed its policy to allow certain acceptable ads through its filter. The announcement for the change was made last week, creating a bit of controversy among Reddit users, but ultimately the company reaffirmed its decision on Tuesday.
The latest version of the extension, Adblock Plus 2.0, by default will enable non-intrusive advertisements. Non-annoying ads equate to static advertisements, preferably text only and with one script that will delay page load. That means no flashy images, animations or sounds.
The reason for the policy change is to help the revenue stream of smaller websites that are having a hard time competing. According to the company’s co-founder Till Faida, some websites have been crying foul as advertising revenue has dropped by more than 50 percent.
In a post, the company stated on its site that by letting non-intrusive ads through, users will “support websites that rely on advertising but choose to do it in a non-intrusive way. And you give these websites an advantage over their competition which encourages other websites to use non-intrusive advertising as well…Without this feature we run the danger that increasing Adblock Plus usage will make small websites unsustainable.”
Since the announcement, Adblock Plus has garnered criticism; some have accused the company of cutting a deal with advertisers. Of course, if the advertisements are simply unbearable, users have the ability to opt out. Click Adblock Plus preferences and uncheck “Allow non-intrusive advertising”.
However, the company does admit that the default setting is deliberate as most users are typically too lazy to change settings. The decision is also backed up with company research pointing to only 25 percent of users who have zero tolerance concerning advertising. Faida believes there are 23 million daily users of the plugin, and 30 million total globally.