YouTube Is Taking Even More Extreme Measures To Neutralize Ad Blockers

Low Boon Shen
3 Min Read
YouTube Is Taking Even More Extreme Measures To Neutralize Ad Blockers

Last year, YouTube has declared war on ad blockers in hopes to increase its revenue, and naturally the internet fought back in retaliation. Since then, it has been a cat-and-mouse game between the two parties, and the company has shown no signs of slowing down its crackdown efforts. Now, it is taking its measures to the next level by directly injecting ads from the server side, potentially rendering existing ad blockers ineffective.

Are Ad Blockers Losing The Battle Against YouTube?

According to SponsorBlock, the extension that enables crowdsourced data to skip in-video ads (such as sponsored segments), YouTube is testing a feature called “server-side ad injection.” Instead of serving ads separately from the video itself, this method will merge the ads randomly into the video stream, making it difficult for ad blockers to identify and block ads, and in SponsorBlock’s case, rendering it useless as the timestamp for ads are no longer consistent between all viewers.

There’s a silver lining – SponsorBlock reassures that this will not be the end of ad blocking tools. In a GitHub FAQ post, the developer noted that such implementation will “makes things harder,” while Firefox gets a honorable mention here as the browser will support Manifest V2 for years to come. Despite the public outcry, Google Chrome is soon switching to Manifest V3, which cripples the current crop of ad blocking tools.

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YouTube Is Taking Even More Extreme Measures To Neutralize Ad Blockers
Image: cobalt (X/Twitter)

Aside from ad injection, YouTube is also trialing another feature to potentially restrict the use of third-party apps (which often comes with ad-blocking or circumvention measures). Some users has spotted the app requiring sign-in to watch a video. Should this policy gets enforced, YouTube will become significantly more restrictive, which may further close down any avenues for users that may look for third-party apps to avoid ads. Similar situation has already happened to Reddit, as its exorbitant API costs have forced the shutdown of many third-party clients.

While both features are currently under testing phase, it’s safe to say this will be implemented in the future, because there’s simply no reason for YouTube to not extract as much views on its ads as it can, even at the significant cost of the experience for non-paying users.

Source: Android Authority

Pokdepinion: The distrust is getting bigger over time with how hostile YouTube is against those who do not pay. 

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