Ads are one of the main reason we get so much free contents on the internet. However, because of intrusive ads, browser extensions to block ads have been very popular. However, one of the most widely used ad-blocking software - AdBlock Plus - has announced that they will no longer block all ads. Instead of blocking each and every ad, AdBlock Plus will allow "acceptable ads" to load now.
As to what constitute an acceptable ad, it has not been finalized yet. However, these are the conditions to qualify as an acceptable ad as of now:
- Static advertisements only (no animations, sounds or similar)
- Preferably text only, no attention-grabbing images
- At most one script that will delay page load (in particular, only a single DNS request)
The fact that an ad has been considered acceptable by AdBlock Plus does not mean that users cannot block it. They still can do it - they just are not blocked by default. As expected, this announcement by the AdBlock developers had been met with two polarizing opinions - those against it and those who support it.
I believe that this is actually a very good decision by the AdBlock developers. Ads are the reason why services such as Facebook, Gmail, Reddit etc. are available for free. They are the reason you can read articles on your favorite blogs. So, it is unfair to entirely block each and every ads. Yes, there are still annoying ads that plays video, audio etc. However, by allowing acceptable ads by default, AdBlock is encouraging these advertisers to server better ads.