Google Is Now ‘Forcing’ Users to Remove Ad-Block Extensions

Earlier this year, we’ve seen how YouTube has been discouraging the use of ad-blockers, but it has now come to light that Google is actually forcing users to remove them.

YouTube is now asking users to either turn ad blockers off or pay for YouTube Premium if they want to continue using the service. This trial is currently being tested on a small group of people around the world, but it is likely that it will be expanded to the general population in the future.

At the moment however, one of our colleagues has noticed how Chrome is displaying a message to users who have ad-block extensions enabled, warning them that the extension is slowing down their browser. This message is likely to be effective in convincing some users to disable their ad blockers, as they do not want to experience a slowdown in their browsing speed.

An example of how Google is forcing users to stop using ad-block extensions

These sneaky moves by Google are being seen by some as a way to protect its own advertising revenue. Ad blockers are estimated to cost Google billions of dollars in lost revenue each year. And so, by making it more difficult for users to block ads, Google is hoping to recoup some of this lost revenue.

However, others are concerned that this step by Google is a threat to user privacy. See, Ad blockers are not only used to skip through ads, but are also often used to block tracking cookies and other forms of online tracking. So, by making it more difficult for users to block ads, Google is making it easier for advertisers to track users’ online activity.

There is not a lot we know about how Google plans to “force” users to remove ad-block extensions, but it is clear that Google is taking this issue seriously and is willing to take steps to protect its advertising revenue.

The Transition to Manifest V3

Not only that, but Google is also making changes to the way that extensions are developed and distributed. Soon, Google will be transferring over from Manifest V2 to V3, and extensions will be required to use this new API that makes it more difficult for them to block ads.

Manifest V3 does this by limiting the extension to 30,000 rules which in turn means that it is almost impossible to block as much ads as they currently do. We do know how this API is designed to protect user privacy and security, but it is also likely to make it more difficult for ad blockers to work effectively.

The rollout of Manifest V3 was scheduled to begin in January 2023, and by June 2023, they had announced that all extensions that run Manifest V2 will be removed from the Chrome web store. This means that users who want to continue using ad-blockers will need to find extensions that are compatible with Manifest V3, which at the moment is almost none.

Its possible that the message above is likely directly related to that, but there is no evidence for that. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s the case, but in the meantime, this is what we speculate.

In the broader context of things, the changes that Google is making are likely to have a significant impact on the ad-blocking landscape. It remains to be seen whether users will be willing to give up the benefits of ad blockers in order to support the free content that they enjoy, but at the moment, a lot of them don’t seem too thrilled.

This is all we know for now, but rest assured that we will keep you updated as new information becomes available.


Muhammad Qasim

Qasim's deep love for technology and gaming drives him to not only stay up-to-date on the latest developments but also to share his informed perspectives with others through his writing. Whether through this or other endeavors, he is committed to sharing his expertise and making a meaningful contribution to the world of tech and gaming.
Back to top button