YouTube’s Ad Blocker Experiment Sparks Backlash
YouTube is now testing a policy that limits the use of ad blockers. Users with ad-blocking plugins on their desktops have posted screenshots of the alerts they have seen on Reddit. After watching three videos, the message notifies users that their video player will be blocked. It also suggests that adblockers be disabled or that YouTube be allowed in the ad blocker’s safelist. Bleeping Computer initially raised the issue, and it appears that the ad block restriction also impacts mobile users, as some Redditors have noted. When attempting to stream a video, affected users were met with a notice indicating that ad blockers violate the Terms of Service of YouTube.
YouTube indicated that the warnings are part of a global experiment. It aims to encourage users with active ad blockers to either allow ads on YouTube or consider subscribing to YouTube Premium. If users persistently block YouTube with their ad blocker, the company may turn off video playback temporarily. This is not the first time YouTube has conducted experiments encouraging users to opt for premium subscriptions. In the past, YouTube tested paid access for 4K videos and experimented with up to 11 unskippable ads for a seamless viewing experience.
Limiting ad blocker usage has sparked outrage among users who rely on these extensions to improve their browsing experience and avoid frustrating ads. Many people have expressed their displeasure, expressing concerns about the intrusive nature of YouTube advertisements, which are frequently seen as obscene, unmoderated, unpleasant, and, in some cases, harmful.
YouTube’s drive to reduce the use of ad blockers came at a time when the platform has over 80 million subscribers across its Music and Premium services. While the corporation continues to look for new methods to commercialize its platform and generate revenue, it is clear that this latest experiment has sparked controversy among its user base.
It’s uncertain whether YouTube will make any changes based on consumer feedback or proceed with the ad block restriction trial on a broader scale.