2 min Applications

Google fights harder against adblockers, apps slower

Google fights harder against adblockers, apps slower

Google is putting restrictions on the use of adblockers. Users are now experiencing longer loading times on YouTube videos.

Google’s plans to place restrictions on adblockers have existed for some time. To this end, the new “Manifest V3” extension format was unveiled last year, but due to criticism of the impact on popular extensions, the plans were shelved. Now the plans have come back off the back burner, with some modifications.

The idea for the new extension specification, which introduces restrictions on adblockers, is now to go into effect June 2024. By then, Chrome 127 will have been introduced and Google will disable Manifest V2 for pre-stable versions of Chrome. These include the Beta, Dev and Canary channels. “Users impacted by the rollout will see Manifest V2 extensions automatically disabled in their browser and will no longer be able to install Manifest V2 extensions from the Chrome Web Store,” Google said.

So now that Google is working toward Manifest V3 again, there are changes from previous V3 plans. For example, one of the changes is “enhanced content filtering support” for the Declarative Net Request API, used by adblock extensions. Google previously proposed restrictions on functionality for this API, potentially affecting all Chromium-based browsers. That includes the major browser Chrome and Edge, but not Firefox, for example.

YouTube and Firefox

Recently, complaints have also been pouring in about other ways adblockers are allegedly already being combated. Users are complaining that Google sister YouTube has introduced five-second delays in loading video pages in Mozilla Firefox and other browsers. Speaking to The Verge, YouTube has since confirmed that there is indeed a delay, but that it is part of the company’s overall approach to tackling adblockers on every platform.

“In the past week, users using ad blockers may have experienced suboptimal viewing, which included delays in loading, regardless of the browser they are using,” said a YouTube spokesperson. Turning off the adblocker should solve the problem. However, users might still experience lag until they refresh the browser. Moreover, the spokesperson warns that users will continue to encounter such problems as YouTube’s adblocker detection methods improve.

Tip: Adblocker use in decline as YouTube takes a tougher stance