As I predicted, publishers are getting fed up with people using ad blockers and starting to deny them access. On the heels of the news that YouTube is forcing visitors with ad blockers to watch full length versions of True View ads, which are normally skippable, the Washington Post has begun testing blocking access as well. They are saying that they are doing it to gather information, the information in question being how loud people will scream about lack of access. I suspect that the test is going to become a permanent thing unless the screaming gets really, really loud.
Mozilla has started showing ads in the browser on the page that people see when they open a new blank tab. Along with tiles that include people’s most visited websites, there is also a suggested page tile. This is something that I actually just noticed as I started having to use Firefox on my baby laptop, and it’s not a bad form of advertising since it’s native and works seamlessly with the rest of the stuff on the page.
Mozilla says that it’s a non-intrusive way of advertising that respects people’s privacy, but it’s not particularly noteworthy in those respects. There’s a lot of non-intrusive native advertising out there already, and they still have to collect data about people’s browsing history to be able to make reasonable suggestions.
Google and Twitter are doing something that Twitter can’t seem to shake, which is imitating Facebook. The search engine and social network are planning on creating something that is essentially their version of Instant Articles. The goal is to create a setting where mobile content loads faster than it does now, but there are several differences between Facebook’s plan and Google and Twitter’s.
The project will involve providing a publishing tool for content creators instead of hosting articles on separate servers, and the ads that display on the publisher’s site will still show up, so there’s no revenue loss for publishers. Google is saying that people will basically be seeing a snapshot or cached version of a website. They are expected to start testing with select groups of publishers in the near future.
Although the Super Bowl is considered to be the TV event of the year, especially in terms of the commercials associated with it, but more people saw last year’s Super Bowl commercials online than they did on the TV. In a poll by Unruly, 38% of those surveyed had seen at least one Super Bowl ad, and 51% of those who saw an ad said they watched it online exclusively.
This is likely at least in part due to the major increase in the number of shares ads got, rising by 73% compared to the previous year and generating more than nine million shares. What’s interesting is that a number of the ads were available online before the Super Bowl aired, so essentially advertisers were paying to be associated with the game as much as they were for the time on TV.