I started using AdBlock back when I learnt about it, back in 2010. It seemed like a great application. It gives you cleaner webpages, faster loading times, reduces the load on your system; what’s not to like about it? It was awesome until i realised that AdBlock hurts the websites I visit, the websites I love and the YouTube channels I love; basically everything that makes the internet awesome.
Just so that all of you know what I mean, I’ll go into a short description of how ads are vital to the sustainability of the internet. I’ll start with how sites like Techetron get revenue from ads. We create ad spaces by posting an ad code from an ad platform, like Google AdSense, and we choose where we want ads to appear. Google hosts an auction to sell out our ad spaces and the highest paying ads are shown on our site.
Google keeps a percentage of profit, and we get the rest of the payment. Now for most sites this works using a per view basis. So the more people that view the ads, the more money the website gets. The websites then use that money to create and provide you with more, better content.
Facebook works in a similar way. Advertisers pay Facebook to run ads, and Facebook serves those ads to people who meet the criteria (location, age, interests) set by the advertiser. Then you have Youtube which displays ads only if the creator enables monetisation of videos. There are five types of ads on YouTube. I won’t talk about them since they are a story for another day, but if you want to learn more follow this link: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2467968. Basically the creator gets money based on the number of views of the video ads.
At its current state, AdBlock doesn’t really bother ad platforms like Google and Facebook because its not really hurting their revenue, but as it grows (we hope it doesn’t) AdBlock will affect their revenues and they will take action. AdBlock and other ad blocking software are made by a small group of people, and platforms like Google and Facebook are huge corporations with a lot of smart people in it, and they will figure out a way to stop AdBlock. But more pressing than that is the fact that people will start to lose jobs due to AdBlock. If we say, hypothetically, AdBlock and other ad blocking software block 15% of all Google AdSense ads, Google will lose 15% of its revenue from AdSense, and it will have to lay off 15% of its people to keep up with profits. And then there will be a percentage of employees from Google who will be working to stop AdBlock and they won’t be able to work on the amazing stuff they should be doing, like making cars which drive by themselves.
The internet runs on advertising, it is built on it.
The reason Google is the most valuable company on the market right now is due, in part, to advertising. It’s the best stream of revenue the internet has. Yes, it’s not ideal, it is intrusive at times, and the ads can get vulgar, but I feel obligated to view ads because it’s how my favourite websites run. It’s not like you would stop paying for Nutella if the world suddenly moved back from paper currencies and credit cards to medieval coins, because life without Nutella sucks. The reason we get awesome YouTube videos like the one below is because the content creators get enough money off advertising that they can dedicate their time to making videos. Same goes for writers from IGN and Ars Technica.
But at the end of the day, I wouldn’t really judge if you still use AdBlock.
The whole point of this article was just to make sure you understood the consequences of using AdBlock. But even if you do use AdBlock, don’t tell everyone to use AdBlock too. I am saying this for your own sake, and the Internet’s. Because, as I mentioned before, if a substantial amount of ads are blocked, advertising platforms will come up with a plan to get rid of AdBlock, and in turn making the internet less free than it already is. At the end of the day, ads are just something we will have to live with. After all, it’s not like the world stopped playing Flappy Bird because it was full of ads.