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iOS 9 inspires lust for ad blockers

Jim Lynch | Aug. 26, 2015
iOS users can't wait to get their hands on ad blockers.

In a post back in June, I noted that Ad blocking in iOS 9 won't kill the Web. Since then I've been watching the progress of a couple of ad blockers for iOS 9, and I've also been keeping an eye on Apple customer reaction to ad blockers for the mobile Web. And everything I've seen so far seems to indicate that iOS users are lusting for ad blockers with a serious passion.

Take, for example, a recent article on The Next Web called iOS 9 content blocking will transform the mobile Web. A writer at the site put the Crystal ad blocker through its paces and came away very impressed by it.

Owen Williams reports for The Next Web:

For Apple, it’s a win-win situation where it can’t really lose. If users block ads, their iPhones will be faster and more stable and publishers will be driven toward platforms where Apple can take a cut of the cash.

What’s clear to me is that ad blocking offers serious, clear advantages to those using iPhones that could create a serious threat for publishers’ ad revenue on mobile, but it’s probably a good thing.

For years they’ve been piling on script after script with little afterthought for those on mobile — ad blocking might finally present them with a reason to care more and work to improve the performance of their sites and offer better alternatives to heavy, slow advertising.

Owen's test results and commentary didn't surprise me a bit. I use Ghostery and UBlock Origin in Safari on my Macs, and I notice a big difference in terms of browser performance when browsing in iOS on my iPad. In short, some sites are almost unusable without an ad blocker.

iOS users are lusting for ad blockers in iOS 9

Owen's article spawned a huge thread on the Apple subreddit, with more than 300 posts already in it. And the vast majority of Apple redditors seem to be very much in favor of ad blockers in iOS 9. Here's a sampling of that thread:

Xe_om: "It's interesting that it's called "content blocking" when it's really the opposite: It's junk blocking."

Pancakegod: "Malicious JavaScript is a huge problem and blockers like this are the solution. Advertisers won't change unless we make them change, and this is what'll make them do that."

Mrcrassic: "Pundits keep predicting that these content blockers will lead to more intrusive advertising, but I don't believe that's true. A lot of the delay that people experience with ads is due to shitty or bulky Javascript. I feel like that will change before advertising theory will.


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