'Two things fill the mind with ever-increasing wonder and awe, the more often and the more intensely the mind of thought is drawn to them: the starry heavens above me and the moral law within me.' -Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason

Google to Offer Free and Premium AdBlocking?

by Ethan Glover, Fri, Apr 21, 2017 - (Edited) Fri, Apr 21, 2017

According to the sources of Jack Marshall, reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Google may introduce an adblocking feature to Chrome.

Popular adblocking extensions have a bad habit of blocking everything. They leave users with the ethical choice of cutting off a site's income source to block auto-play videos, prestitials, and pop-ups.

Those three types of ads are the types of ads Google is allegedly working on blocking. The exciting part comes in when you consider that Google is the King of online ads. Ads are Google's main source of income.

Meaning, Google would have to leave behind ethical forms of advertising that help fund websites (as well as Google). Google's adblocker would only block ads that harm the user experience. (And no, there's no rational reason to believe that Google will block all ads but their own.)

Google already collects a massive amount of data via Googlebot and Search on ad types and the effect they have on UX. Most recently, Google Search started penalizing mobile sites that use intrusive interstitials. (Which have become increasingly common.)

While this update to Chrome would be great news for users who would no longer face the ethical dilemma between blocking all ads vs. none, there may be more to this story.

In January 2017, Google suspended Contributor with the promise to bring it back with a new version in early 2017. Contributor was a way for people to pay a monthly sum to block Google ads. Instead, user subscriptions would go directly to site owners without them having to depend on ads. Similar to YouTube Red.

I think this potential adblocking feature for Chrome could come with a premium version. A free version to block intrusive ads, and a premium version to block Google ads. Maybe, and hopefully, that premium version will be included with Google Music and YouTube Red. It's worth noting that doing so might suggest that Google is moving towards a model like Amazon Prime by bundling services together.

These are all hopes and opinions on my part. With the rerelease of Contributor coming, as well as news about an abblocker, it's hard not to connect the dots.