This is going to be a very quick entry as I am heading out the door to a client meeting, but I wanted to share this change to AdBlockPlus’ policy and how you really need to know your customer base.
For those unfamiliar, AdBlockPlus is a browser add-on that disables ads on most websites. Well, that is until now. While they have struggled with blocking ads completely on major sites like Facebook, they have done overwhelmingly well in the market for removing ads on most websites. Personally, I use the extension when I am browsing specific things where I know I am going to bombarded with ads because the page load speed is horrible. I do enjoy that it helps me when I need to quickly look for information on websites that have 15-20 ads on a site and the content can be hard to find. I have even donated to them in the past because they DO save me time. For the most part, however, I like looking at ads because they give me ideas for my clients, so I leave the extension off most of the time.
Knowing Your Customers/Market
The overwhelming majority of AdBlockPlus users are VERY against ads. They simply do not want to see them. For this reason, AdBlockPlus’s announcement to start serving ads in place of those it removes seems well against their target market as well as an overwhelmingly shady thing to do.
First, serving ads to people who are using your extension to remove ads goes against everything the majority of your userbase is using you for. Why continue to use your extension if you are just going to replace the ads, instead of removing them.
Second, I have to imagine they are making agreements with websites or something, because from a risk management point of view, I don’t see how they can get away with cutting profits to someone’s ad revenue and replace it with their own – at least not in the long term. It will only take one person to sue them, and those types of suits usually come attached to a class (class action).
I’d Like to hear from you. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think this is as bad of an idea as I do? Have you looked more into their plan? Is this as shady and underhanded as it appears to be on the surface? Comment below and let me know.