spons16oct2 23 The evolution of online advertising and the rise of ad blockers

The evolution of online advertising and the rise of ad blockers

Online advertisements, available in different forms, play a key role in the digital world as they help businesses target their audience and display their product or services effectively. Likewise, consumers can get curated ads based on their interests. Consistent updates on deals and promotions make purchasing easy and efficient.

However, digital ads have grown in number with time and it is impossible to deal with ads on our own. If you’re tired of seeing the multiple ads on every website you navigate to, there is a way around it, which is through ad-blockers. Before we get into details, let’s learn how digital ads have evolved and how an ad blocker may be an indispensable tool in your arsenal.

The evolution of adware

The first digital ad made its appearance as an online banner, and unlike today, they were rectangular, flashy, and less animated. It was HotWired, a digital offshoot of Wired magazine, who had the first thought of a digital ad and hosted it as a clickable banner ad in 1994. While it was done to generate awareness and drive traffic, it was the herald of adware becoming as we know today.

With digital ads turned into a great success in the early 2000s, businesses started adapting to the trend hastily. Not long after, advertising and marketing companies began monitoring user behavior online and gathering data for adware campaigns. While it raises concern over user privacy, businesses were able to target their customers by delivering personalized ads based on behavior, interests, and demographics.

Considering digital ads have been extraordinarily catching the attention of users and are arguably cheaper than conventional ads, more businesses have joined in the digital ad race and been able to reach audiences more effectively. Soon, digital ads were not limited to the web and have expanded by featuring in games, apps, software, and many more platforms.

Research done by Insider Intelligence, eMarketer, has estimated that the total media ad spending might reach nearly $1 trillion by 2024, which signifies how well digital ads are reaching customers. However, the current collective user attitude is negative towards online advertising. As a result, cybersecurity companies began developing counter solutions, which we today use—reliable ad blockers like Total Adblock, uBlock Origin, AdGuard, and more.

Ad overload dilemma: in need of solution

With the above information and stats, you might have realized that digital ads have done exceptionally well in these modern times. However, user data gathering and analysis and displaying of excessive ads have made them overwhelming. Some even deem trackers often found in ads as unethical.

To counter this uncontrollable situation, many have taken different approaches, and as per Statista, more than 25% of internet users in the US alone have blocked ads on their devices, as they found them intrusive or excessive. Ads have slowly turned out to be a source of distraction and irritation since they overlay useful content.

While the issues with excessive and intrusive ads are on all platforms, one would notice mostly on mobile platforms like iOS or Android, considering the screen real estate is small and closing them can be intimidating. Also, many fell victims to ads that lead to undesirable web pages or an application and, even in worst-case scenarios, potential malware or viruses.

The Efficiency of Ad Blockers Across Platforms

Although there are numerous ways to prevent ads, most of them are complex and call for learning. Ad blockers are one of the easiest and most effective ways to block ads on various platforms. They also have become more popular since verified services swipe ads off your screen with ease, optimizing your browsing experience.

Ad blockers have become the go-to solution for many who wish to navigate the online landscape without constant interruptions. Their rise in popularity is not just a trend; it’s a response to the ad overload dilemma on a variety of peripherals:

  • On laptop or desktop. Popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari are completely compatible with ad blockers. They function as add-ons or extensions and filter out unwanted ads before they even load. This not only offers a cleaner surfing experience, but it also frequently leads to quicker page loads.
  • On mobile devices. Ad blockers have adapted to the rise in mobile browsing, and nowadays, many mobile browsers include built-in ad-blocking functionality. Additionally, dedicated ad-blocking software can be installed to remove ads from all apps and browsers on the device.
  • On smart TVs and streaming devices. As streaming becomes more prevalent, so does the presence of ads. Ad blockers for these platforms often work by filtering out ad requests at the network level, ensuring viewers can binge their favorite shows uninterrupted.

While there are numerous ad blockers available, it’s essential to choose one that’s both effective and trustworthy.

How to use ad blockers:

Another aspect to ad blocker popularity is ease of use. You’ll have no problem navigating ad-blocking software whether you’re new to it or a veteran netizen.

  1. Choose a reputable ad blocker suitable for your platform.
  2. Install the ad blocker (as a browser extension, app, or on your network).
  3. Configure the settings based on your preferences (e.g., whitelist certain sites or block specific ad types).
  4. Browse the internet and enjoy an ad-free experience.
  5. Periodically update the ad blocker to ensure it counters the latest ad strategies.

Bottom line

While the increasing number of digital ads has improved businesses’ ability to reach audiences, it has caused users a never-ending interference. This has led to the development of ad blockers to get a break from these intrusive and excessive ads. If there is a trial version of an ad blocker available, we advise testing it out before you buy. To be safe, make sure to download your ad blocker from reputable, secure sites if you’re using a free version.