Now here's one we didn't see coming. Google, the biggest advertising company on the web, could be building an ad blocker right into its Chrome web browser.
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According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, Chrome's baked-in ad blocker would be activated by default on both the web and mobile versions of the browser, automatically disabling advertisements that Google deems as a bad user experience. This includes pop-up ads, auto-play videos and ads that feature a countdown timer before you're able to click out of them.
In some cases, Google may even block all ads on a site, provided that it's guilty of one or more of the above violations.
The new feature could arrive in the next few weeks, though The Wall Street Journal notes that Google is still "ironing out specific details" and might decide not to release it at all.
So why would a massive advertising company like Google build its own ad blocker? For starters, the search giant may simply be looking to encourage websites to embrace better advertising practices and provide a better overall experience for users.
Secondly, Google could be looking to squash out the plethora of third-party ad blockers all over the web. According to the WSJ report, about 26 percent of U.S. internet users employ ad blockers — some of which cost money to use. If Chrome, which comprises nearly half of all browser use, can block ads for you, why download a separate program?
If this feature does in fact arrive, it could significantly affect the way tons of websites do business; particularly the ones that rely on ad revenue to survive. But Google seems keenly aware of the reasons why most folks use ad blockers, and making a move like this could ensure that your favorite websites remain free of dancing ads and auto-playing videos.