YouTube tightens thumbscrew to crack down on ad-blockers
Google has been testing several ways to combat users who use ad-blockers on its YouTube video streaming site. One of the first tests informed users that ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube. The prompt, which blocks access to the site, offers three options to users to react to it. The two prominent ones are to configure the content blocker to allow ads on YouTube or to subscribe to the paid service YouTube Premium.
A small close icon in the top right corner is the third and less focused option. Users have the option to click on the x-icon to close the prompt and continue using YouTube.
Now, it appears, Google is making this option less attractive to users on the site. Instead of displaying the close icon directly, YouTube is now showing a timer in its place. In other words: users who get the prompt have to wait between 30 to 60 seconds before they can close the entire prompt and start using the site.
A screenshot of the new prompt was posted to Reddit recently.
The notification appears to hit users of different content blockers, including uBlock Origin. It seems that the majority of users are not getting these prompts, likely because Google is still testing reception and the rate of return.
Interestingly, YouTube has now also added the timer to the second prompt that Google is trialing on the site currently. Users may also get the drastic "video player will be blocked after 3 videos" prompt, which will lock down the video player entirely after three videos have been watched.
The initial version of that prompt featured a close button that users could activate immediately. The updated version features the same timer, so that users have to wait 30 to 60 seconds before they can close the prompt and start watching the three videos that YouTube allows them to watch before the lockdown.
The third and final prompt blocks access to YouTube entirely, stating that ad blockers violate the site's terms of service.
The recently posted instructions to bypass YouTube's anti-ad-blocker prompts may not work anymore properly at the time, as Google is making modifications all the time to them.
Users hit with the prompts have a few options:
- Try watching videos in Incognito Mode with content blocking enabled.
- Try another web browser, either one with a built-in ad-blocker, e.g., Brave Browser or Vivaldi, or one with a content blocker installed.
- Try dedicated programs or apps, such as VLC Media Player, SMPlayer or FreeTube, YouTube ReVanced or YouTube apps for Android.
- Try third-party apps like NewPipe or PeerTube.
Some content blockers will also be updated regularly to address the support bypassing the latest prompts on YouTube.
Google announced a price increase for YouTube Premium recently that increases the monthly price from $11.99 to $13.99 per month.
Now You: do you use YouTube? (via Neowin)