Google, a company which makes its vast profits almost solely through advertising, is reportedly working to add an advertising blocker to its popular Chrome browser, seemingly in an effort to discourage the use of third-party tools which block its own ads.
Ad-blocking is undeniably popular. While the majority of websites - including this one - rely solely on advertising revenue to stay afloat, years of marketeers' bad practice have soured users on the concept. From video adverts which automatically play as soon as the page has loaded and increasingly obnoxious pop-up, pop-under, and interstitial ads to the less mainstream fake system warning messages, users are growing tired and increasingly turning to technological means of escape - to say nothing of the dangers of malicious code injected into advertising networks.
With the overwhelming majority of Google's income coming from advertising, ad-blocking is a problem for the company. Rather than turning to the ad-blocker-blocker technology which leads only to ad-blocker-blocker-blocker add-ons and so forth, the company is reportedly working on native ad-blocking for its Google Chrome browser - a move which, cleverly, would give the company some control over precisely what adverts will be blocked and where.
The Wall Street Journal
cites anonymous 'people familiar with the company's plans
' as its source on the scoop, stating that Google's plan is to 'filter out certain online ad types deemed to provide bad experiences for users as they move around the web.
' These adverts would be defined, the sources claim, by the Coalition for Better Ads - and Google's own would, naturally, be on the right side of the rules and therefore exempt from filtration.
While Chrome wouldn't be the first browser to receive native ad-blocking capabilities - various browsers have launched with that specific feature at the forefront, while Opera added ad-blocking in April 2016
and extended it to its mobile version in June that year
- it's a move Google will need to make very carefully. The company has already paid out impressive fines for anti-competitive behaviour, and modifying one of the world's most popular web browsers to block competitors' adverts while whitelisting its own is unlikely to go down well with regulators.
Google has not publicly commented on its plans for Chrome.