Adblock Plus, the ad-blocking menace to publishers everywhere, just won’t stop growing.
The team announced today that it’s bringing its popular browser extension to Safari, the last of the major web browsers. And for advertisers and publishers, that’s a very scary thing.
Consider this chart from W3Counter, which shows web browser marketshare as of December 2013. This chart represents roughly 90 percent of the browser market, which Adblock Plus now has access to. Adblock Plus has been downloaded 200 million times so far, and that number’s only going to climb higher.
This, as you might expect, is bad news for the people who make money from the ads Adblock Plus users are blocking. But it’s also potentially great news for Adblock Plus, which now has access to even more web users.
More, all of those web users who block ads may also help pad Adblock Plus’s own pockets. Through the Adblock Plus Acceptable Ads program, large websites can pay Eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus, to unblock their ads if they fulfill certain criteria.
While the program has long felt a bit ethically dubious (“Those are some nice ads you got there — shame if something happened to them), Ablock Plus has always positioned what it does as good for the web: If Adblock Plus can get more sites to display ads that don’t annoy readers, “the web will become a better place for everyone, not just Adblock Plus users,” it argues.