Wait, what just happened? Adblock Plus, the world’s most popular ad-blocking tool, just announced they are launching an advertising service for “acceptable” ads. Instead of saving the Internet from all ads, Adblock Plus is striving to replace the bad ads with good ads.

With over 100 million active users who run the extension in their browsers, the ad marketplace is aimed at publishers who can select the pre-approved ads and place them on their pages. When users visit their page they will be exposed to these ads, instead of whatever ads would initially run on the page.

The criteria of the ad regime will be defined as the ones that aren’t too intrusive or annoying to readers and are determined by factors like size and labeling. "The Acceptable Ads Platform helps publishers who want to show an alternative, nonintrusive ad experience to users with ad blockers by providing them with a tool that lets them implement Acceptable Ads themselves" Till Faida, co-founder of Adblock Plus, said in a press release.

The marketplace is an extension of the Acceptable Ads program that ABP has been running since 2011. Since then, the company has “whitelisted” certain ads, from Google, Microsoft and Taboola, that will pop in any case, whether the user implemented the blocker or not. Basically, the company charges big publishers for allowing their ads through the gate. Some industry executives have blamed ABP for harming their income. According to a report by PageFair, ad blockers cost publishers almost $22 billion in 2015 alone.

Even though the Acceptable Ads Program might come as a surprise, it shouldn’t be. The ads scheme allows ABP to generate a higher income from the program. According to Faider, the platform will simultaneously bring changes for the publishers: "There are two ecosystems of online consumers out there right now: the one composed of people who block intrusive ads and the other where people do not. The Acceptable Ads Platform lets publishers reach the former group without changing anything about how they’re reaching the latter"

Adblock Plus remains the gatekeeper of advertising on the web, charging website operators for passing through the blockade the company built itself. It is almost as ironic as bookstores killer Amazon opening up its first physical bookshop.

Source: The Guardian

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