Currently, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding ad blocking. And while ad blocking isn’t a new technology or trend, it has hit the mainstream hard and fast.
Below is an in-depth timeline of the evolution of ad blocking:
2002: Danish developer Henrik Aasted Sorensen created the first popular ad-blocking extension, and soon ad-free browsing had become well-known among web geeks.
2004: The boom in internet pop-up advertisement saw a drastic decline.The big ads that flashed in separate windows above or below web pages were among the most intrusive, and for many users, the most obnoxious features on the internet. The reach of these ads started to be sharply curtailed as major companies, like Time Warner’s AOL unit, Yahoo and Google, distributed software that blocked pop-up ads from opening.
2006: Wladimir Palant created AdBlock Plus, an open source project that blocking annoying ads on the web. Since its creation in 2006, it has been the most downloaded and used extension.
2009: As the use of AdBlock Plus continued to grow, Wladimir Palant explained that the idea was to give control back to users by allowing them to block annoying ads. He also presented an approach to fair adblocking
2012: Global adblock users grew from 30 million to 39 million, representing a growth of 30%. To make matters even more complicated, this growth was heavily clustered in western nations with countries such as Poland, Greece, Sweden and Denmark all seeing higher than 20% ad blocking.
2013: Global Downloads of adblock plus reached 77 million, sparking a growth of 35%. A previous report by PageFair found that adblock users were typically young, tech-savvy and more likely to be male.
2014: Adblock growth was driven by Google Chrome, in which it penetration nearly doubled to 70% by June 2014. According to a report by PageFair, adblock usage was driven by millennial users, 41% of 18-29-year-olds.
2015: Days after Apple enabled ad-blocking apps through its new mobile operating system, iOS 9, users embraced the new technology after several complaints that ads tracked them, slowed down web browsers and were just plain annoying. In less than 48 hours, several ad-blocking apps with names like Peace, Purify and Crystal soared to the top of Apple’s App Store chart.
2016: According to a recent report from Global Web Index, 37% of users have blocked ads on their mobile devices over the last month. And while 42% of users said that they haven’t blocked ads, they are definitely interested. This means that over 80% of users could turn to blockers, leading to a huge impact on advertising revenue.