A new version of the popular adblocking extension Adblock Plus will be released tomorrow for the Firefox web browser. Adblock Plus 2.0 is not only a huge jump in version from version 1.3.10 that is currently offered on Mozilla's add-on repository, but offers also a fundamental change in program functionality.
Back in October we ran a story about the founding of Eyos GMBH, the new parent company for Adblock Plus that was founded by Wladimir Palant and Till Faida. And with the company came the idea to change the behavior of Adblock Plus. The managing directors back then mentioned that they had plans to fix the web for both web publishers and users.
Their decision to allow unobtrusive ads to pass through the filter was backed by a user study were 75% of all users stated that they were using an adblocker primarily to block annoying ads on the web, and that they would not mind if unobtrusive ads were displayed to them on websites.
Adblock Plus 2.0 for Firefox will introduce the concept of acceptable ads to all Firefox users who upgrade to or install the new version of the add-on. Users will see a notification once they install or update to the new version.
The notification states that Adblock Plus has been configured to allow non-intrusive advertising. Links lead to a help page with additional information about the new feature and the configuration were the feature can be turned off. The page explains the reason for the move (supporting websites that rely on advertising, forcing websites who use annoying ads to think about it), that users can disable the acceptable ads feature if they so desire, and what the developers consider acceptable ads.
According to their information, acceptable ads are static advertisements (no animations or sounds), preferably text only and use at most one script to avoid delays in page loading times.
A list of acceptable ad providers and websites is available here. The only big name in the list is Google, the remaining filters refer to ads on specific sites (mostly German based). The page states that Adblock Plus has agreements with "some websites and advertisers". It is not clear how those agreements look like.
Adblock Plus users can disable the feature in the add-on's Filter options.
I have to admit that I like the move as a webmaster. Why? Because I earn my living from this website with ads on the site. If everyone would block the ads on this site, I would be working in a 9 to 5 job with little or maybe no time to update and maintain this website.
Users still have the option to turn off the the exception list if the want to continue blocking all ads on the Internet.
The new version for Firefox is said to be released tomorrow. The Chrome version will receive an update in the coming months.
What's your take on the move? Let me know in the comments.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.