Google to unveil an ad-blocking feature for its Chrome browser

Google is reportedly planning to add an ad blocker to Chrome, its web browser, and to possibly turn it on by default for all users. That seems counterintuitive for a company that makes the majority of its revenue from advertising, but it could actually be a way to beat blockers by becoming one itself.

The ad-blocker, which would be available as a default setting for both mobile and desktop, could spell the end of certain online adverts which many users claim disrupt their browsing experience.

Targeted adverts are likely to be those featured in a report released last month by the Coalition for Better Ads, a U.S. and European industry group, the Journal suggests. These include six desktop and twelve mobile web ad experiences which it said fell below the threshold of “consumer acceptability,” such as pop-ups and auto-playing video ads.

Chrome’s widespread uptake by internet users means the browser has almost half of the market when it comes to navigating the web, so putting an ad blocker natively within Chrome and turning it on by default would basically stop cold the growth of third-party options: Users won’t actively seek out a way to block ads during their web-browsing sessions if the ads are already blocked to begin with.

Google wouldn’t be aiming to eliminate advertising altogether, but a side-benefit for consumers might be the institution of more user-friendly acceptability standards for ads.

The technology company, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., said it had been working to explore new ways of improving the browsing experience for users.

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