As you might have noticed, we have been hearing increasing amounts of talk regarding Ad blockers and one of the most significant events in the news streams has been the endorsement of Edward Snowden for the idea.
Following up on the hype, Opera, one of the oldest and obscured web browsers around has started to offer its own ad-blocking services on its desktop browser, being the first major browser to do so.
The reason given for this is faster browsing speeds. The company notes that its browser is 45 percent faster than Chrome with the AdBlock Plus extension. It is expected to bring down page loading times by 90 percent. Then there’s obviously the privacy and tracking issue. In particular it points out those bloated webpages that trick the user into clicking the “fake download buttons”.
The adblocker is turned off by default, but auto-detects whether the ads are slowing down your browsing. It can be activated and deactivated by the flip switch in the address bar. It also shows you your statistics as well as benchmarking the load speeds with and without it.
Desktop browsing is clearly the most important market for adblocking services, which have grown by 41 percent over 2014-15, with 98 percent of the users on PC.
“…together with the native ad-blocking feature, we also provide a tool to help advertisers and users understand the problem of heavy ads. We believe this will accelerate the change that the ad industry needs to pursue.”
Opera itself can certainly benefit from services like this. While it has been credited with many innovations in the browser market, it currently lies in fifth position in desktop market share.