Following a somewhat surprising announcement that Google, a search giant relying on advertising, was planning to introduce an in-built ad blocker for Chrome, the feature now appears to be at a testing stage.
As discovered by Carsten Knobloch and verified by TechCrunch, Chrome’s pre-release Canary app for Android offers a tool allowing users to trigger an in-built ad blocker for websites featuring intrusive advertising. The software is currently switched off by default.
The idea behind arming Chrome with an ad blocker was not to eliminate all advertising, but to get rid of those creatives that negatively impact user experience as defined by the Coalition for Better Ads’ list of ad standards. According to the organisation, ‘bad’ ads include pop-ups, autoplaying video ads with sound, and prestitials with countdown timers.
As such, the seemingly counterproductive move might, in fact, help Google increase its revenue as many users seek ad blockers filtering out only intrusive advertising.
The feature is also expected to help the company slow down the increasing number of third-party ad blockers. However, after the announcement in April, concerns arose over how Google might use this advantage to ramp up its own CPM rates, charging advertisers to be part of its acceptable ads programme.
Either way, it will probably still be a while before the feature is rolled out on a bigger scale, with WSJ reporting last month that Chrome’s ad blocker won’t be launched officially until 2018.