So, it was not up until recently, I was out to shop for a handbag. I went to a few stores, didn’t like much so gave up the idea. But what happens next? This shoulder bag stalked me like my own shadow- at my work, at my playstation, at my coffee- everywhere. It finally broke all my barriers of patience and I had to block it!
The shopping store was none other than the online store and the follow-up was all the time through my desktop and the mobile phone..
Such has been the experience of not one, but many over the web. Advertisement right-in-face through pop-ups, side banners, video ads that play automatically, full screen download options have become messy. They not only have led to banner blindness, but also drastically hampered the user experience. Yes, no user would ever want to be stalked for being on a shopping portal but unfortunately and unconsciously that is the price a user pays for casual sighting at any online shopping store.
Need For Ad-Blocking?
Dozens of independent developers started ad blocking to enhance user’s web experience till the time Content Blocking was made official by Apple, a week ago with the release of iOS 9.
The question is what made Ad blocking official?
The answer- Disruptive user experience on web.
Content and advertisement floating across the pages like butterflies has some serious implications to it. One can sense the crumpled state of advertisement and its dire need to capture the user’s attention to ensure that they go a step ahead by consuming the product or the service but in this race of gimmicks and flaunt, there is a line of authenticity being crossed.
Why should random advertisements be smudged on my page when I open a web page?
Why should any third party be allowed to collect my information without my prior agreement?
Simply to stalk me later in form of ad banners, is it? And, why should I be forced to spend my time, energy, effort and data in something I’m just not interested?
"Web ads are dramatically different from prior ad media, though — rather than just being printed on paper or inserted into a broadcast, web ads are software. They run arbitrary code on your computer, which can (and usually does) collect and send data about you and your behavior back to the advertisers and publishers. And there’s so much consolidation amongst ad networks and analytics providers that they can easily track your behavior across multiple sites, building a creepily accurate and deep profile of your personal information and private business."
Not everyone is going to be in a happy state with Ad-blocks. From user’s point of view, the good news is that users now have ways to streamline and redefine their web experience. They can openly choose what to read and unread, view and hide.
In a report by Adobe and PageFair, an Irish start-up that tracks ad-blocking, Nearly 200 million people worldwide regularly block ads, the report said, and the number is growing fast, increasing 41 percent globally in the last year.
The response to one early content blocker in development for iOS 9, called Crystal, has been overwhelming especially since the developer, Dean Murphy said that it makes pages load, on average, nearly four times faster using half as much bandwidth, all while blocking third-party scripts that would compromise privacy.
However, this comes as a major concern for the giant player in the game- Google who runs web's largest ad exchange- AdX and ad server called DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and earns a major chunk of its revenue through the same.
The bad news is that Ad Blocking may wipe out publications and content writers who largely depend on advertising for the revenue. But looking at the larger picture, this has a positive implication to it as the game now rules on survival of the fittest and hence it would bring better ads across which are more presentable, objective, transparent and not abusive in nature.
Advertisments have evolved over the decades. It is a shout out to the customers, an unabating war to grab the eyeballs. The medium transcended from hoardings to banners to newspapers to web. It has consistently changed in its form and medium.
However, sadly the recent change is at the cost of user experience which is why there has been so much nagging and blocking around. Yet, it would be a big statement, if I say advertisement is dead.. Well, not exactly, may be it is just in a deep slumber seeking resurrection. It needs to undergo a complete evolution in its approach and ideation. The need of the hour is to adapt as I said before survival of the fittest.