Murphy wrote that he ran a small survey on his users, with 50 percent of them saying they would be OK supporting sites that feature Acceptable Ads, while 20 percent preferred to manage which sites they see ads for.
In addition to allowing Acceptable Ads, Crystal users will also be able to unblock ads from specific websites by managing their own settings.
“Any kind of recoding or technical work that they need to make has to happen very quickly”, he said. Eyeo is now reaching out to developers of other ad-blocking tools to cut deals that allow certain ads to pass ads through their filters, too, in exchange for payment.
Craig Smith, a 47-year-old website developer in Musselburgh, Scotland, said Twitter started showing him ads for adjustable waistband pants not long after he and his followers discussed about how ridiculous his grandfather’s pants looked in a photo. And considering it’ll block everything from popups to YouTube video ads, it’s no mystery why it’s popular.
When asked about the motivations behind blocking ads on mobile, the responses were not surprising, with 64% citing visual clutter and slow load times and 22% pointing to privacy concerns.
That was made clear when Marco Arment – developer of the Peace ad-blocker that shot to the top of Apple’s paid app list when Apple rolled out iOS 9 and allowed users to add ad-blocking extensions for the first time – pulled a 180-degree turn and yanked his massively successful app within two days of its release last week.
It doesn’t come as a great shock that another app, the 99-cent Crystal, rose to the top of the adblocking heap in Peace’s wake.
Like with every controversial issue, there’s always a flip side – and it’s not just coming from people decrying the fact that ads (especially on the internet) are nearly always annoying.
Acceptable Ads is an effort that “encourages and promotes the use of better advertising on the Web”, backed by Reddit, Adblock Plus and several other partner companies.
There are easy ways to block such annoyances, and Apple is now permitting apps that block ads in its Web browser for iPhones and iPads.
Short story: if you’re using technology to serve ad placements, it’s likely these ad blockers will be effective.
But the soft-spoken Murphy sees it as a way to spark an “open dialogue with publishers”.
Some companies are trying to create a smoother experience to get at the root cause of consumer frustration. “I’ll leave that to the professionals”.
Murphy has written a blog post clarifying how his app will work. There’s also the option to request the desktop version of the site.
Ultimately, however, improving user experience is going to be the key.
There’s also some people reasoning that if content blockers are available on mobiles that this will force web advertising to be less invasive.
Eyeo’s Acceptable Ads Manifesto includes this line, “We don’t hate advertising per se, but nobody wants obtrusive ads and content-obscuring rollovers running amok on their computers and mobile phones”.
“Automation and programmatic are the future”, he said.