In a move to hurt ad companies in which the biggest happens to be Apple’s largest rival (Google), iOS 9 will reportedly carry ad blocking capabilities for it’s Safari browser when it is released later this year. Hidden under the guise of saving it’s users from an ad overload experience and conveniently left out of WWDC, the move by the Cupertino based company is widely believed to be an attempt to rid it’s products of Google’s advertising juggernaut.
Filtering advertisements from webpages is nothing new for desktop computers. The practice has been around since browsers first supported plug-ins and has been growing year over year ever since. The most popular plug-ins have even grown to over 40 million users as of recently and show no sign of stopping. The trend on mobile on the other hand seems to just be picking up steam and are popular on Android devices.
A report on The Verge revealed that an Apple engineer named Ricky Mondello had first revealed the change and developers are waiting for Apple to provide them with more details. It is believed to work by allowing developers to create extensions for Apple’s Safari browser that could block various objects such as cookies, images, pop-ups, resources and other content on the web. Specifically to the ad blocking, the plug-ins will be able to block HTTP an HTTPS requests based on their source address thus keeping the ad from making it to the user.
This move will no doubt make it even harder for struggling content creators who rely on digital advertising to generate revenue not only from desktop users but now mobile users as well.
So who will not be hurt by content blocking on Safari’s mobile browser? Apple’s very own iAds, which doesn’t display ads for websites. iAds only displays ads inside of iOS apps and will never be blockable. With Apple’s closed system stance with their operating system their ads aren’t targetable with JSON files or HTTP attempts and even if someone figured out how to make it work, Apple would just ban the app from the App Store.
It seems as if Apple may only be interested in their chess game with main rival Google and do not care about collateral damage. It is no doubt that more than a few content websites will find their demise at the hand of this move. Never the less it looks like Apple may have Google in a check mate, at least on the home field.