* Newest Chrome browser will likely include built-in ad-blocker
* Reported to be optional feature, where users can toggle it on or off
* Still unclear how new ad-blocker will work
Annoying pop-ups, banner ads and automatic videos could soon be a thing of the past. As The Wall Street Journal first reported, Google is currently planning to release a new ad-blocking feature for both desktop and mobile versions of its highly popular Chrome browser.
Google has recently been in talks with the Coalition for Better Ads, a trade group that has been working to define what constitutes harmful ads. Ideally, the new feature would give users the choice to block or allow ads.
In recent years, online advertising has become more aggressive, often leading to slower page loading times, blocked content and in some cases, even malware. Naturally, it comes as no surprise that more than a quarter of internet users today use some kind of ad-blocking software.
But as Google — like other internet companies — earns its revenue from advertising, it’s a bit puzzling to see why they would work to create their own ad-blocking software.
One speculation is that Google hopes to level the playing field and reduce user dependence on outside ad-blockers. Currently, “free” ad-blockers like Adblock Plus offer a similar service, except they actually allow certain ads to pass in exchange for money (see: pay to play). By giving Chrome users the opportunity to use their own ad-blocker, it would eliminate the need to download outside extensions.
Google is expected to make an official announcement within the next few weeks.