There is a trend that is on the rise, a trend that will hit hard on websites that offer free content with hope to reap from online advertisements. The use of adblocks.
An adblock is an add-on to a browser that enables Internet users to block unwanted ads be they banner ads, text ads, sponsored links, sponsored stories or video pre-roll ads. Adblocks are available to both PC users and mobile users. Adblocking is on high rise according to PageFire, a website that monitors the frequency with which users block ads on their clients’ sites. The August 2013 report by PageFire estimates that in past year the use of adblocks has risen by 43%, with approximately 23% of Internet users blocking ads they consider unwanted. [pullquote]To prevent the possibility of losing free online content, either adblock usage should be censored or advertisers to be smarter and find out how Internet users want to interact with ads.[/pullquote]
One PageFire customer found out that they were experiencing a 25% adblock rate, which is costing them over $500,000 a year. The customer was curious to know why most of their users were blocking their ads. The response indicated that most users do not like “nuisance of ads that expand and blow up in their face”. Online tracking has also been cited as one of the reasons people prefer to block ads.
Firefox users top the list of adblock usage rate followed by chrome users and opera users are close at the third position. Safari users and IE users follow a distant fourth and sixth respectively. It is also interesting to note that Gaming and technology sites experience the most adblock rates whereas Finance and Travel sites have the least (see image).
What these statistics imply is that most free online content could disappear if the adblock trend continues. Popular social sites like Facebook are not spared either. A research in UK found out that 66% of Facebook users do not like News Feed ads and 69% detest ads that appear on Facebook mobile app. To prevent the possibility of losing free online content, either adblock usage should be censored or advertisers to be smarter and find out how Internet users want to interact with ads.