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Ad nauseam

Ad nauseam 

According to a report from the CBC, ads have been a regular part of the Internet surfing experience ever since it became possible to monetize the process. As soon as you launch your browser of choice and are taken to your homepage, your eyes are met with ads galore.

Eventually, users get into a state of “ad nauseam,” where their browsing experience is hindered by rampant ads from companies or service providers hawking their wares, or that have the potential to infect computers with malware. However, two popular browser extensions have effectively turned the dream of an ad-free Web into a reality.

Since they were originally launched, AdBlock and AdBlock Plus have been downloaded over 340 million times, and for a good reason – both help to eliminate those often annoying ads. Now, Eyeo, the company behind these two products, has adapted same service for mobile devices. Launched on May 20, AdBlock’s mobile browser currently boasts 200,000 total downloads.

Research conducted by PageFair indicates that by June of this year, an estimated 215 million people around the world will have a form of ad blocker in place on their computers. This represents a year-over-increase of 50 per cent. However, these projections to not factor mobile device users into the equation.

While it has yet to become mainstream in Canada, mobile ad blocking has proven popular in Asian markets like China and India due to existing products that include an ad blocking option. These services already claim to have over 600 million users.

But there is also another issue at hand. Although people generally view online ads as a nuisance, they serve as a primary source of revenue and as a traffic driver for many websites. With ad blockers in place, these websites stand to suffer substantial monetary losses if people are not clicking on their ads.

The response to this has been the creation of ad-free version of their websites, where, for a small monthly or annual fee, users can register to view the site without having to worry about ads getting in the way. Other websites employed a more aggressive approach, where if an ad blocker was detected, all or most of the content on the page would be disabled.

Animosity towards irrelevant, spam-laden and browser-hijacking ads are the main reasons why people install add blockers in the first place. In order to combat this, PageFair works with companies to help display ads that are more informative, and less intrusive.

Many view ads as the “root of all evil” on the Internet because of their tendency to be annoying or irrelevant. However, if proper measures are taken to ensure that ads actually serve a purpose instead of being associated with the stigma of spam, fewer people will have to rely on ad blocking extension or software to create a better browsing experience.

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