CRTO - The pros and cons of ad blocking

Hi all,

Just a quick thought on the ad block news.

Apple is allowing so called ‘content blocking’. This is what people call as blocking in the desktop world. Typically, the software doing the blocking is looking to stop certain Javascripts from functioning, as most ads are fetched using Javascipts. (A Javascript is a program that runs on the browser … and in the case of ads is typically used to fetch ads.) The problem though is that Javascript are used to also provide useful functionality such as menus, sounds, interactivity features etc. Many ad blockers simply aren’t good enough at determining which Javascript is the bad and which one is good. This has been one of the lead causes of poor uptake of ad blockers.

So the bottomline:

  1. This news is important in that there’s one more avenue where blocking will come into play. But, note that blocking has been around for ages on desktops and adverts have also been around for a similar timeframe on adverts.
  2. Mobile (at least in my mind) is moving more towards an app-based ecosystem. I see myself using apps to access web more and more on the iPhone & iPad. E.g., the iPad app for WSJ is so much more functionally rich that I just avoid opening WSJ on my desktop! The news doesn’t say anything about ad blocking on apps, and I think this is where the next wave of tech should be focusing on.

That’s all I have for now.