The Wall Street Journal just dropped a shocker of a report: Google, the biggest web advertising company in the world, is planning to build an ad blocker into Google Chrome, the world's most popular web browser. Those types of ads include pop-up ads, autoplay videos, and what are known as prestitial ads, or those ads that are often fullscreen and show up before you're taken to the homepage or desired website. According to the WSJ, the ads that don't make the cut would be from a list of ad types as defined by the Coalition for Better Ads, which it helped create.
Although Google's decision to add an ad-blocking feature right inside Chrome may seem counter-intuitive since the company's revenue is dependent on online advertisements, people familiar with the plans stated that it's a defensive move.
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It is odd that Google, a company which earns a significant portion of their revenue via online advertising would like to introduce an ad-blocking feature in their own browser.
The sources go on to state that Google is considering the ad-blocker as a move against third-party alternatives that are growing in popularity.
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Chrome held 54% of the browser market share worldwide in April 2017 on desktop and mobile combined, according to StatCounter, followed by Safari with 12.4%; UC Browser 9%; Firefox, 8%; and Edge, 2%.
If implemented correctly, this feature wouldn't just benefit Google. The search giant could use its position of power to impose standards on the kinds of ads that are allowed through its blocker. The WSJ says this isn't yet a done deal, but if it does come, it might be announced sometime within the next few weeks (maybe at I/O in mid-May?), so we shouldn't have to wait long to find out how much this rocks the online advertising industry boat. In this case, site owners may need to ensure all of their ads meet the set standards. The company declined to comment at this time, but hopefully we'll know more about its plans sooner than later.
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Snowden, for his part, is pointing a finger at the NSA. "Maybe if all surviving WWIII, The Shadow Brokers be seeing you next week. Security experts hope that as more information come out about the leaks, Microsoft will have already released fixes and patches.