Today Opera has launched an integrated ad blocker for their desktop browser along with the Opera Mini browser. The new features offer native ad-blocking technology that would be used by a good percentage of their users. According to Opera following this step, there would be a 90% improvement in the web page load time in the desktop browser while a 40% faster browsing on the opera mini. Opera had announced a feature called Opera Max, that saved bandwidth while accessing the Internet on WiFi / Network data few months ago
Now let us know talk about the Impacts of this announcement on the Free Press. Before we get started, comment below on How many of you are using an ad blocker while reading this article? Be honest & let us know. It is important because every time you visit this blog & read the information, it costs us not just for hosting the website, but also paying the editors salaries & running the publication. We run this publication based on the advertisements that are shown around the content and are able almost to break even every month.
This could easily change, by just accepting sponsored stories, that could be biased, but we are totally against it.
We expect most of our readers to whitelist their favorite websites but its practically impossible to do that. Having tested the ad-blockers, it is hard to maintain a list of sites where you are ok to show the advertisements. Ad-Blockers should probably check the ad to content ratio on the websites & then start blocking the content; that could be one of the biggest solutions to this major problem. If they keep stopping the original publishers or creators from making money, we will keep seeing more and more publications closing down because of fewer revenues.
Double Standards Much? The moment you install the “Opera Mini” browser you are welcomed with not just sponsored stories, but also with applications with whom Opera has done tie-ups. Isn’t this double standards when you are blocking the advertisements from the Internet, but as a platform making money by showing sponsored stories?
There’s an interesting story on Huffington Post that refers to why the blocking of advertisements is not the right solution. Here’s a quote from the story.
But as advertising revenue increases, consumer sentiment toward online ads seems to be decreasing, and the industry is quickly reaching a tipping point that must be addressed.
As mentioned earlier, I do agree that the number of ads on the websites should be limited, but the solution is not just blocking them. You should make a simple algorithm and ask the user if they should be blocking ads on a website level, following which the users could decide if they are ok with the same on a few selected websites.
Another similar story could is published on MediaNama, which also debates on the pro’s & cons of this topic from the readers, publishers & advertisers point of view. Here’s a quote from the story.
Readers have the right to use ad blockers. Their browser, their prerogative. This means that publishers will be pushed to do two things: firstly, block users who use ad blockers. Their website, their prerogative. Ad blockers will try and beat this. Secondly, they’ll push users towards apps because publishers can control the advertising in apps, not the browser.
Irony: All these browsers have increased their user base through advertisements, the same platform that they are now blocking now on the name of offering better speed to their users. Will Opera, in this case, block advertisements from their own advertising network i.e. Opera Media Works.
Note to Publishers: Stop serving auto-popups, auto-video playbacks (most annoying), full-screen ads that are not just bad for the users but also at times hang the browsers.