Industry news

News that concern ad blocking and similar areas

Apple announced smart anti-tracking and video autoplay block

At its annual conference for developers, Apple has revealed several ad-restriction related upcoming updates for Safari desktop browser.

The most interesting one is the Intelligent Tracking Prevention. The purpose of this technology is to protect users from "third party" data collection. There often are elements on websites, integrated from other websites (images, videos, scripts, analytic services). If site B has elements from site A, the owners of the latter receive information about visitors of site B, even if they never visit site A. This is called cross-site tracking. As a result, a user does not know who has their data and cannot control it. In addition, aggregating and analyzing information from different websites gives vast opportunities of behaviour prediction and control.

Apple's approach is based on giving information about users only to the sites they interact with and are interested in. So, if site A receives information about a user only as a "third party", through other sites, and the user hasn’t visited site A itself within 30 days, then the cookie files from site A get erased from user’s device and prevented from uploading again. »

Google unveiled its strategy of a grand ad reform

A new tool has become available in Google Webmaster — Ad Experience Report. In it, the site owner is to find screenshots and videos of ads on the site, which Google finds unacceptable and annoying by the standards of Better Ads. And since 2018 no ads will be shown in Chrome browser on the sites that do not comply with the Better Ads Standards (even ads owned or served by Google).

Besides, Google launched a beta of the tool Funding Choices. It helps a webmaster to address users who block ads and ask them to either disable ad blocking or pay for ad-free access. Users can pay through Google Contributor, which acts here as a kind of adblocker, paid for users, voluntary for sites, compensating them profit losses from ad blocking and bringing profit to Google itself. It works like this: a user tops up his account, each time he visits a website that uses the Contributor, a per-page fee is deducted from his account to pay the creators of the website, a part of the money is kept by Google. The user sees no ads on the pages. »

"Sing, Goddess, the wrath": a history of ad blocking, part one

For as long as advertisements have existed, people have been trying to avoid them. No surprise there. An advertisement is an unwelcome communication that distracts attention and intrudes at its own discretion and for its own purpose.

Marketing experts writhed in agony when video cassette recorders first started gaining popularity. "It’s over now," they thought. "TV advertising is dead. People will no longer just switch channels (where they can be caught) or go to the kitchen (where they can still hear the ads). Now they can avoid an ad altogether by just cutting it off!" »

Google now knows, what you bought offline, where, when and why

Data about ads, that users see online, and purchases they make in offline stores is now combined and collated by Google in order to measure advertisement performance. Google needs to prove to its advertisers that ads can generate sales in brick-and-mortar stores. It has partnered with a company that is said to have the access to 70% of credit and debit cards transactions in the US. »

Security experts exposed RoughTed — a massive malvertising operation

Cybersecurity technicians from Malwarebytes.com have researched a malvertising operation that had already been active for about a year with the peak on March, 2017. The malicious ads have gathered about half a billion clicks in just three month.

Malvertising is a cybercrime tool that works by breaking into ad networks and planting infected ads among others. Such adds carry viruses, trojans, ransomware and other types of malware. Notably, such ads needn't to be clicked at — they can do their black work just after being loaded by a browser. »

Verizon’s spyware-launcher will be sending app usage data to advertisers

An app launcher and search tool AppFlash will be pre-installed on devices sold by Verizon. It allows the telecommunication giant and its partner companies to track the usage of apps on the phone and gather a lot of other information on the behavior of its user. The launcher is now being tested on LG K20 V.

A launcher is a “skin”-app that allows changing the interface and functions of a smartphone, adds additional services, options and settings to the operation system. In order to do this, the app demands access to a bunch of system functions and to the device’s contents. »

The most irritating and the most acceptable ad formats as researched by the Coalition for Better Ads

Founded in 2016, the Coalition for Better Ads has recently shared the results of it’s ad perception research, naming the most and the least acceptable ad experiences. Ad formats for desktop and mobile web has been rated and ranked separately.

Coalition for Better Ads is an association of the biggest advertisers, platforms and adtech developers worried about ad blockers popularity growth and intended to "improve the consumer online ad experience". The coalition includes Facebook, Google, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, The Washington Post, News Corp, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) with it's area divisions as well as other companies and non-commercial organizations. »