First Rubin, then Reader, and now no more sanctioned Android ad blocking. Getting dizzy here. Page, cut the shit. Schmidt, whup his ass.

arstechnica.com/2013/03/google-evicts-ad-blocking-software-from-google-play-store

12 COMMENTS

  1. I understand your point as a consumer, but you should think from the point of an App Developer who spends lot of time and provides free app with ad based revenue generation system, wouldn’t that kill his/her stream of revenue. And if no revenue is coming, how would (s)he picks up future updates or something like that. All of a sudden the app ecosystem goes down. And of course, Google also loses it is cut in the ad revenue stream. After all they providing part of Android as free and paying OEMs per click base.

    Now the interesting question is, are they going to ban ad block extensions for Chrome Browser, because Chromebook’s main stream of income will be Ads in the HTML 5 web apps if they are free.

    • I very strongly doubt they’ll try that with Chrome. In addition to individuals, there are lots of businesses out there who have to block ads on the browsers they deploy internally (customized Chrome/IE/Firefox group policy-ish deployments), along with anything tracker-ish (Ghostery, Adblock, NoScript etc), so that no one can get that good a glimpse from some centralized system what their employees are looking at.

      For example, if it were discovered that a popular hedge fund that was heavy on Apple was suddenly looking up a close competitor a lot more than they used to, that might be interpreted as a signal that they’re going to drop Apple and pick up Samsung and they could lose money on the dump of Apple and buy of Samsung because investors beat them to the punch.

      Or maybe Apple employees have ads blocked so that no one, other than AMD and, say, Level3 with whom the company might have a confidentiality agreement, can easily tell if they’re suddenly very interested in switching from Intel to AMD.

      Employees getting accurately tracked poses to some an undesirable leak of information that can be curbed (not eliminated, but curbed) with things like Adblock and Ghostery, also Chromium, so Google making that impossible, or prohibitively difficult, sounds like a bad move.

      And of course a lot of people would bail out of Chrome regardless. Adblock and Adblock Plus for Chrome have a number of installs somewhere at least in the tens of millions. I don’t know how many had Adblock on Android, but given that you had to root your phone to use it, I doubt people will flock to the iPhone as a result of this. It just seems like there is much more pressure on Google not to do this with regular Chrome than there is on Android. Also, with Android, they’ve got to deal with developers complaining about a key source of revenue being blocked because of ad blockers, I imagine a lot less so with Chrome app and extension developers.

      So I doubt it. I’d bet against it, if anyone’s interested in winning or losing ten bucks. As for me with Android, I stopped blocking ads when I started using a sweet free SMB server app that insisted on letting it remove adblocking in order to use the app. Fair trade.

      • I’m glad you brought up these scenarios. I never even thought about the business user issues this move presents.

        It’ll be interesting to see what, if any, fallout occurs from this.

      • What about the chrome browser within Chromebook or Chrome OS? Would they block the adblockers or no? My strong feeling is if Chromebook picks up some momentum, they would, but given the facts in your scenarios, it would be interesting definitely to see.

      • Ram: I’d bet even more heavily that Google will continue to treat Chrome on Chromebooks as identically to how they treat Chrome on everything else, including the same sort of Chrome Web Store treatment. They’ll either do it for both or neither and again I’m guessing neither.

        It’s essentially the same, Chrome on conventional computers and on ChromeOS, and were they either to prevent adblocking on ChromeOS and not on Chrome elsewhere, or the other way around, that would be a glaring discrepancy, part of the whole idea is that there are no visible discrepancies. Maybe the biggest discrepancy so far, which you could blame on Google being naive or plunging into a new environment without surveying the scene first, is how on Chrome on Google TV you’d be blocked from Viacom networks’ sites and Hulu. Google and Adobe could have maybe done something to cloak Chrome’s user agent and Flash Player’s equivalent of a user agent to blend in with computers, but maybe they didn’t as that could be received as too hostile by these suits they eventually want to do more things with — like the television service that they’re now bundling with Google Fiber. But I don’t recall that sort of snubbing happening to Chromebooks.

        One of the things that they’re doing with these Chromebooks is getting them to kids in schools. So, one thing you don’t want kids to see is porn or gambling or pharmaceutical or Scientology or check your criminal record sort of things, or to be “tracked” in general, so, don’t keep adblock away from the shorties. Let them go on a whitelisted set of websites or whatever, and by getting rid of ads, then the sites they go to will always only have the content made by the people behind those websites, nothing at all out of their control like advertisements.

        Adblock, by the way, is at the top of the list on Apple’s Safari extensions site: http://extensions.apple.com

      • Doug: You are sayint that it would be similar to the CV list that Microsoft started maintaing for Flash sites on Moder UI IE10. That would be nice.

  2. Why would I pay Google to advertise my product or services, when Google provides a way for it’s users to avoid my adds?

  3. I don’t know what i’m reading exactly. It appears Google removed all ad-blocking apps which means more ads being served to the user which Google wants. Am I missing something here? I get as a user why’d you want to limit ad exposure but that is Google’s main income.

    Or is it that the move to remove the apps results in a way that harms free apps that offer in-app ads?

    • >>Or is it that the move to remove the apps results in a way that harms free apps that offer in-app ads?
      These ad-blockers block the ads in the apps and the browser(s). That impacts the revenue stream of Google and Google can’t pay a part to Free App provides and OEMs anymore.

      • Oh okay. I get where Google is coming from and that is the price you pay when you tout openness in a business product. Make no mistake Android is a business product and a means for Google to grow their business. If i’m an employee i’d be much more worried about our company turning a profit and me keepingg my job then I would be to not take action and end up in front of the unemployment line.

        As a consumer it definitely ads a level of frustration because you’re supposed to be able to customize your experience without having to jump through technical hoops to accomplish it on Android.

  4. This is ironically hilarious. The Android fanboyz always bragged about how open Android is (when most of us know it was far from it). Now Google doesn’t think that their customers don’t have the right to NOT view ads.

    Evil is as Google does.

    SO glad I stopped using Android and Google services a couple years ago.

    • Of course this is categorically evil and heinously repugnant for lack of stronger words. However, just like a great wifi tethering app is still on Google Code even though it was pulled from the Android Market way back, I’ve got a feeling that, while pulled from Google Play, Adblock and friends will be precisely this more difficult to grab than it had been:

      1) slide your thumb up (launching Google Now)
      2) say “google android adblock”
      3) tap probably the first or second result
      4) then hit the download/install link

      … versus opening up the app menu, starting the Play app, searching for adblock and then hitting install and then confirming.

      Also, this:
      https://code.google.com/p/andblock/
      https://code.google.com/p/android-wifi-tether/

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