Eyeo Releases Mobile Version of AdBlock Plus

on Nov 26, 2012

On Tuesday 27 November Eyeo, the company that has developed the popular software AdBlock Plus, will launch an Android application that blocks all ads displayed on mobile devices.

According to the Financial Times, the PC version of AdBlock Plus has become the world’s most downloadable online ad-blocking software with nearly 180 million downloads since 2007 and 3.5 million in the month of October alone. With their newest application available for mobile devices, Eyeo could potentially cause lots of damage to the fast-growing but still underdeveloped mobile advertising industry. “This will be the first app to remove all adverts on your phone. There is a great need for it.” said Eyeo’s co-founder Till Faida as quoted by the FT.

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The mobile version will remove adverts displayed on users’ phones from both website and applications including the blockbuster Angry Birds. The app also cuts out the non-skippable commercials that appear in the beginning of Youtube videos. The PC software has been increasingly popular in a number of countries including Germany, where more than 10 percent of the Internet users have it installed on their browsers. Only 2 to 3 percent of the UK and US users have adopted the application; however the latest data shows that AdBlock Plus gains about 100,000 new users per day. According to Ian Maude, analyst at Enders Analysis, at its current usage levels the software does not pose a danger to the advertising industry.” If 5 to 10 per cent of the audience adopted a tool like it, that would cause some problems,” he opined.

A few websites attempted to fight back against AdBlock Plus and similar software. Ars Technica, a technology-news outlet, found that about 40 percent of its users were blocking the ads on its website. As a response it blocked these users’ access for a day but only managed to score 200 new subscriptions (compared with 5 million visits a month) for its ad-free version.

!m[Mobile Advertising Industry under Threat from Software That Entirely Removes Ads from Websites and Applications](/uploads/story/894/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)The newest release of AdBlock Plus added a feature that approves “acceptable ads” by default. “By doing this you support websites that rely on advertising but choose to do it in a non-intrusive way. And you give these websites an advantage over their competition which encourages other websites to use non-intrusive advertising as well.” explained the company in a statement. For ads to be considered “acceptable” they should not be animated and it should be easy for the user to get rid of them.

The proliferation of ad-blocking software has prompted many companies to opt for paywalls – an arrangement whereby access to the website is restricted to users with a paid subscription. According to The Economist, Press+, a paywall provider founded in 2010, now has over 300 clients worldwide.
With tomorrow’s release of Eyeo’s newest application, the mobile advertising industry, still in its infant years, will be faced with yet another challenge. Companies like Facebook and Twitter, whose revenue growth potential depends largely on the expansion of mobile ads, might once again hit a brickwall when it comes to monetising their mobile user base.


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