A month after the initial reports about Google planning to integrate ad-blocking features into its Chrome web browser, the search giant confirmed the plan on Thursday, announcing that it will preinstall an ad filter in Chrome starting early 2018. Chrome is the most used web browser in the world, owning over 54% of the global market share of web browsers as of this month.
As previously reported, the ad-blocker will aim to filter out ads that are deemed “annoying” by the standards of Coalition for Better Ads, a group that Google formed with advertising companies to improve online ad experiences. Google says it will give publishers at least 6 months to prepare for the ad filter coming next year, offering a self-service tool for analyzing ads on their sites to make sure they meet the standard set by the Coalition.
What Brands Need To Do
Back in 2015 when ad blockers were taking off and became a hot topic in the media industry partly thanks to Apple’s decision to enable ad-blocking extensions in Safari in iOS 9, we advised brands to counter the trend of Ad Avoidance – subpar online ad experiences and increasingly ad-free options are driving online users to actively avoid ads – by trying new ad formats, sponsored and branded content, and generally improving their online ad experiences. Two years later, new unblockable ad formats, such as sponsored selfie lenses and VR product placements, have emerged or become viable for brands to explore.
Since then, ad-blocker adoption has continued to grow worldwide, particularly on mobile. The 2017 Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker pointed out that nearly 400 million mobile devices ran ad blockers last year. This upcoming Chrome ad-blocker will only serve to accelerate the mainstream adoption of ad-blockers, further pushing publishers to optimize their ad experiences. For brands, this should be an opportunity to start exploring digital ad formats that are better integrated into the user experiences.