It’s a bad day for mobile ads. Adblock Plus has just been made available for all iOS devices in the App Store, and has returned to the Google Play Store for the first time since March 2013.
The ad-blocking browser extension had planned to launch its service with Apple’s next software update, iOS 9, with the release date announced tomorrow.
Adblock Plus co-founder Till Faida said “speculation can end” regarding the availability of the service on mobile devices.
The Android version has been in beta since May with over 300,000 downloads in its first week, and over 78,000 people coming forward to test it in the beta community.
“It has been very important for us to deliver our ad-blocking app to our iOS users who do more and more web surfing from mobile devices,” Faida adds.
Championing the user
Adblock Plus claims its mobile service will put users first, offering the ability to block ads with the aim of providing faster browsing speeds and longer battery life, as well as keeping them safe from ‘malvertising exploits’.
The news won’t be looked upon favourably by advertisers, although Adblock Plus operates a ‘white list’ to let certain forms of ads to slip through the net based on criteria.
Around one in 20 internet users already have ad-blockers on desktop computers, according to Pagefair, but its availability on mobile Safari is likely to bring the service thoroughly into the mainstream with iPhones and tablets representing over 52% of the mobile browsing market.
The UK’s Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB UK) has made very clear its stance on the technology - declaring its support for an ad-funded web, which keeps many forms of content free-to-view.
"If you are a medium or small-sized website operating on very tight margins, this could make or break the business," said the IAB’s Stephen Chester talking to the BBC.
PerformanceIN.com will be hosting ‘Ad-Blocker Week’ on September 21 for a five-day focus on one of the most disruptive technologies in the online ad space. For details about contributions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.