Digital Advertising

The Origins of Adblocks and How They Have Affected Online Advertising

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By Laia Cardona, on 22 September 2015

The Adblocks, as we have mentioned in previous articles, are programs or extensions that allow the user to enjoy uninterrupted navigation. That is, without being displayed banners, pop-ups or other advertising formats that interrupt your web surfing. Currently, there are plenty of different advertising blockers, due to its great popularity and having experienced tremendous growth in recent years. But how and where did the first adblock emerge? What have these advertising blockers changed for online advertising?
The Origins of Adblocks
To speak of the origins of the blockers we must go back to 2002, when a young college student named Henrik Aasted Sørensen decided to write the first source code for a university project. Thus the first ad blocker in the world was born, allowing an extension in Firefox to stop all kinds of advertising formats that interrupted navigation on this browser. Although this first version of this extension does not prevent the download of ads, it did succeed in keeping the ads hidden from the view of users, who could continue their navigation without the annoying interruptions that some types of advertisements can cause.
The end of online advertising?
The truth is that, despite having numerous detractors in the field of online advertising, ad blockers have, today, millions of supporters worldwide. Specifically, as the latest report from Adobe unveiled, they have over 144 million active users each month. Certainly a record figure that confirms this spectacular boom that these new applications are experiencing and how it threatens to end the most annoying and intrusive advertising formats on the entire network.
Modern adBlocks allow users to create two types of filters to block or allow advertisements. The first filter is called 'white list'. That is, ads which users allow to appear while navigating. On the other hand, any of the modern adBlocks allow the option of including any annoying ad in the so-called 'black list' and thus prevent it from appearing while browsing the network.
The effort of online advertising lies in the so-called white list of users. This means that online advertising is only shown if the user has decided that the content is not disturbing and allows the application to show the content. In this sense, we can say that ad blockers have revolutionized the field of online advertising.
In the end, the proliferation of extensions or applications of this type will force advertisers and marketers to seriously consider what kind of online advertising they offer to users. Leaving aside ads that "assault" the navigation of people and staying committed to creating friendlier, creative, non-invasive ads that provide value.
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Laia Cardona