Google continues to “experiment” with its advertising efforts as YouTube may start looking for ad-blockers.
Reddit user Sazk100 posted a screenshot of the new popup on YouTube subreddit (Opens in a new tab) Telling them that ad-blockers are no longer allowed on the website. Because of this they can’t watch videos. After getting the notice, YouTube gave Sazk100 two options: one) disable the ad-blocker or two) buy a subscription to YouTube Premium. It appears that this is a real announcement and not a prank. The subreddit’s moderator group claims that a YouTube employee has reached out to them confirming its legitimacy. Other outlets (Opens in a new tab) A YouTube spokesperson told them that the company is running a small global experiment encouraging users with ad blockers to allow ads or try YouTube Premium.
It is not known how far this experiment will reach and we also do not know if YouTube will officially implement these plans. We asked the company these questions only to be given the same comment by a representative – that it was all an “experiment”.
It is important to point out that Google is conducting several advertising tests such as the recent flood of integrated ads. Gmail accounts. As you can imagine, people are not very happy with any of them.
War against ad-blockers
For the past few years, Google has been at war with ad-blocking software. Back in early 2016 (Opens in a new tab), the company banned ad-blockers from its Play Store only to reverse its decision shortly after. But that hasn’t stopped Google from trying other methods to make sure you get your daily dose of commercials. Last year, Android VPN apps that do not use the VPNService API (Application Programming Interface) are banned from the Play Store because they claim to interfere with advertising. And YouTube Vanced, which offers a completely ad-free experience on the video platform, has taken off without a hitch.
Don’t assume that browser extensions are safe either. Google is working on third version of its Manifest API which may prevent privacy tools like uBlock Origin from working because it removes “key read and modify data permissions”.
None of this is bad if YouTube ads aren’t intrusive. Unfortunately, they are. Screenshots from Twitter (Opens in a new tab) and Reddit posts (Opens in a new tab) shows people who get 10 unskippable ads repeatedly in certain videos. These unskippable ads appear in late 2022, and as of now, a YouTube spokesperson (Opens in a new tab) previously said the non-skippable ads were part of an experiment. So it’s possible that Google is telling the truth and has no real intention of enforcing anything.
But if it’s implemented, you have to wonder if this whole thing is going to be a weird cat-and-mouse game where the developers are looking for a way to avoid YouTube’s ad-blocker detector just for the sake of it. platform to do more rigorous tech ad infinitum. Hopefully it won’t happen.
Intrusive online advertising has become so bad that it’s even recommended by the FBI (Opens in a new tab) people get an ad-blocker. To find out which one is the best, check out TechRadar’s list of the best ad-blockers for 2023.