Talking about advertisements often results in polarizing opinions. While many of us like using free services such as Google’s services, social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, or even technology blogs such as TalkAndroid ,without being subjected to a pay wall, the ads that pay for such services and websites are often intrusive and annoying. The UK carrier, Three, has decided to tackle the issue by implementing a network-based block on “excessive and irrelevant mobile ads”.
Three UK and Three Italy have partnered up with Shine Technologies to block annoying ads on their networks. The carrier has stated that the ad-blocking technology will deploy with three main aims:
- Customers shouldn’t pay data charges to receive adverts. Three says that these costs should be borne by the advertiser instead.
- Customers’ privacy and security must be fully protected. Some mobile advertisers use mobile ads to extract and exploit data about customers without their knowledge or consent.
- Customers should be entitled to receive advertising that is relevant and interesting to them, and not have their data experience in mobile degraded by excessive, intrusive, unwanted or irrelevant adverts.
Now that sounds all well and good, and it’s great that Three is thinking of its customers’ needs, it really is. But, call me cynical if you will, somehow I don’t believe Three is doing this out of the goodness of its heart. In fact, I would go so far as to say that it smacks of an attempt to garner a slice of the advertising revenue for itself. That Three has seen the vast revenue that advertising generates for companies such as Google, and has decided that this will be an easy way to add a new revenue stream to its finances.
Obviously, as a user, I can see the benefits of having ads blocked from my mobile experience. Who hasn’t got annoyed when you have to wait 30 seconds for an ad to finish playing just so you can gain access to your favourite website? Or those infuriating flash ads that suddenly roll up the display while you are mid-paragraph? It’s the wild west out there for sure when it comes to advertisements, and it definitely needs some form of regulating or code of conduct. But is it the place of the network to decide which advertisements you get to see?
And what about those websites that rely on advertisements for revenue? Advertising revenue is the lifeblood for many of our favourite blog sites, yours truly included. Will sites be forced into putting up pay walls in order to survive because the advertising revenue has dropped? It might not be technologically possible, but could it result in content sites blocking entire networks to safeguard revenue, or refusing to serve content to connections that block ads?
It remains to be seen exactly how Three and its partner, Shine Technologies, will go about blocking these excessive and irrelevant mobile ads. Three says it will release the full details of its ad-blocking strategy in the coming months, promising to work with the advertising community to provide a better, more targeted and more transparent mobile ad experience to customers.
One thing that we can be sure of is that everyone will have their own opinion on the matter. Some of us like the status quo, others would be willing to contribute to a site with each visit, and then there are those that have their cake and eat it by already having ad-blocking software installed on their device.
What are your thoughts on Three’s plans? Do you find mobile advertising to be intrusive or that it impacts on your data allowances? If you aren’t a Three customer, would you like your carrier to jump on the bandwagon? Let us know your thoughts on the issue in the comments below.