Hell is freezing over, pigs are flying and Adblock Plus allows ads on websites. Well, at least one of those is true, the next major version of the very popular browser add-on, to be launched monetarily, will allow some ads to get through, by default.
The Adblock Plus browser add-on has long been the friend of everyone that doesn't want bright, annoying advertising inundating their browser.
The clear demand for something to remove intrusive advertising from the web made Adblock Plus consistently one of the most popular Firefox add-ons.
It became so popular in fact that it threatened the revenue of many websites that rely on advertising. And many of those websites may not actually carry the type of ads that annoys people.
So Adblock Plus' creator, Wladimir Palant, has decided that the next version will allow "acceptable ads" and that this will be the default setting.
When Firefox users update to the new version of the add-on, they will start seeing some ads on sites. These "acceptable ads" will have to meet several criteria.
They have to be static images, meaning no animations or sounds, and should preferably be text-only. What's more, the script used to load them should not slow down the page too much, by making too many requests for example.
The option will be enabled by default, but users will be able to block all ads if they want to.
"If we ask users to enable this feature then most of them won't do it — simply because they never change any settings unless absolutely necessary. However, advertisers will only be interested in switching to better ways of advertising if the majority of Adblock Plus users has this feature enabled," Wladimir Palant explains
Of course, one obvious problem is that it's hard to determine what ads are acceptable and what aren't. The add-on will rely on a whitelist to enable ads that meet the above criteria to get through.