YouTube intensifies crackdown on adblockers with this new restriction
After having tested blocking users with content blockers outright on YouTube, Google is now, reportedly, running a new experiment that allows users to watch three videos before they are locked out of the site.
The report comes from Reddit user Reddit_n_Me who published a screenshot of the new experiment on the site. It needs to be noted that there has not been official confirmation from Google or YouTube, or other users who have received the message. It looks plausible though that Google is testing different thumbscrew approaches and it may use different counts of allowed videos before blocking the user.
The screenshot informs the user that the "video player will be blocked after 3 videos". Google explains that video playback will be blocked unless the user allows ads on YouTube in the adblocker or disables the adblocker outright.
Google furthermore states that the ads help keep YouTube free and that users who dislike ads can subscribe to YouTube Premium for an ad-free experience.
The two options offered are to allow YouTube ads or to try YouTube Premium.
Google's last experiment on YouTube was stricter. It prevented access to videos right away if its algorithm detected a content blocker. It seems that Google is experimenting with different approaches to find the most rewarding solution from a business perspective.
Google announced earlier this month that it had plans to introduce unskippable ads in YouTube TV. These ads play for 30 seconds before videos on YouTube TV and ads will also play when users pause a video. In 2022, Google ran an experiment to show up to 10 unskippable ads before videos on YouTube.
What you can do about the adblocker blocking on YouTube
Google is giving YouTube users with content blockers two options: disable the adblocker on the site or subscribe to YouTube Premium.
There are other options, however. Besides leaving the site and never looking back, users may also wait until content blockers manage to overcome the anti-adblocker scripts on YouTube. This could turn into a cat and mouse game, with YouTube adjusting its algorithms regularly or modifying code to identify and block users with adblockers, and content blockers finding new ways around these restrictions.
Another option that YouTube users have is to use Invidious instances to watch videos. This third-party open source solution may be used to watch videos on YouTube without advertisement or YouTube account. Google has threatened the project recently with legal actions.
Using Invidious is straightforward. Head over to the main site to check out the list of instances that are available. Select one to from the listing. Experienced users may set up their own instances as well.
The interface looks a bit different, but search is available to find videos of interest. YouTube users may import their subscriptions to Invidious by exporting them on YouTube and importing them to Invidious.
There are also third-party mobile apps, as YouTube ads may also be blocked on mobiles. There is NewPipe, but also other YouTube third-party apps available that promise an ad-free experience on the site.
YouTube, like any other site on the Internet that is financed through advertisement, is feeling the impact of content blocking. More and more users are installing adblockers on their devices or use the included functionality of their browsers.
They have lots of reasons for that, from not wanting to be tracked across the entire Internet to not wanting to see annoying ads on sites. Ads are also used regularly to push malware on user devices.
On YouTube, ads can be very annoying, especially if they play in the middle of videos, even short ones.
In any event, Google is trying to find a suitable method to reduce the number of content blocker users on YouTube. Whether it is going to launch an anti-adblocker on YouTube remains to be seen, but there is a chance for this happening in the near future.
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