One of the flagship features of iOS 9 sounds rather boring, to be honest: content blockers. The truth is, though, the addition of this technology to iOS is a big deal, and can have a dramatic impact on how advertisers reach you. This is obviously a big deal to quite a few people since one such utility, Peace: Block Ads and Trackers, is currently in first place for Top Paid iPhone Apps on the App Store. In fourth place, you’ll find Purify Blocker.
Let’s take a look at what these utilities do, why people want them, and why advertisers don’t like them.
Ads be gone
One of the most annoying “features” of surfing the Web is the overabundance of advertisements that you have to suffer through. In their hopes of making money from their websites, many blogs and other members of the Internet community allow advertisements to be placed on their pages. Sometimes, these ads are banners at the top or bottom of the page, but more and more you’ll find them smack dab in the middle, breaking up the text you were trying to read.
With a content blocker, those ads are automatically detected and removed from the Web page that gets delivered to Safari. The upside of this is that you get to view your pages without any clutter from advertisements. Some of the content blockers will even get rid of those annoying social media “like” buttons.
How can this hurt anybody?
Sounds like removing advertisements is a great thing, right? It is, for you, but it might not be in the long run. While AppAdvice is proud of the fact that we’ve gone completely ad-free, many websites depend on advertising revenue to keep the doors open. With so many users drifting to mobile for their surfing, the loss of advertising revenue for sites that depend on it could spell the end of days for those Web pages.
Should you block or not block?
I’ll leave that decision to you. I test out content blockers because that’s my job, but at the end of the day I return to my normal surfing habits of dealing with the advertisements. I realize I’m in a lonely camp, but I recognize that the people behind those Web pages using ads are doing so in order to make some semblance of a living. Far be it from me to block that just to avoid a bit of annoyance from advertisements.