When Henrik Aasted Sørensen, a Danish student, created the first ad blocking extension in 2002, he didn’t make the tool out of perceived necessity. He developed it out of procrastination. Today, there are several ad blockers for browsers, and hundreds of millions of people use them for reasons that aren’t too difficult to understand.
Ads are pesky intrusions
Ask your friends if they like seeing ads pop up? Chances are, none of them will say yes. Conventionally, ads are made to be seen by the public, including people who aren’t asking for them. Companies pay popular media to put them right in front of your faces. Ads keep many websites alive by receiving revenue from all the impressions. But consumers in general find ads annoying.
Ads interrupt user browsing experience
We don’t go to YouTube or Facebook to look for advertisements. Despite that truth, companies still insist upon showing us their ads in the hopes of inspiring brand awareness and curiosity. However, when you’re watching a video, an ad that suddenly pops up ruins the momentum of the experience. In virtually all cases, users just don’t need the brand being advertised.
Many ads are malicious
Many websites don’t check content from ad publishers. Websites that host ads actually have little control on the quality of ads displayed on their pages. Publishers of malicious content can take advantage of this vulnerability. This is why many people install ad blockers, which block nasty software from invading their devices and hogging resources (e.g. memory space). While ad blockers ad legit ads, they also block adware that steal user information and plant malware into devices. These malicious ads can be found on any site, even the legit ones, and in most cases, it’s not the hosting site’s fault, but the publisher’s.
Some ads take time to load
Ads are additional bits of data on a page you’re loading, and they eat bandwidth and lengthen the amount of time it takes for a page to load. Some ads just take up a lot of resources and seriously affect user experience. Thus, they slow down your browsing experience. The thing is, people who surf the internet can’t wait too long for a web page to load. If it takes forever to load an article, people may just click away.
Ad blockers allow control
Commonly used extensions allow you to turn off ad blocking on certain websites or on certain pages of a particular website. Half of the internet users think that they are paying for their internet service and using their own devices that it’s only right for them to control what they see.