Top ad-blocking app on iPhones withdrawn
San Francisco, Sept 19
A top iPhone ad-blocking application was pulled from the App Store on Friday by its creator, amid a surge in interest in new programmes to thwart marketing messages.
Programmer Marco Arment removed the Peace app after it spent more than a day as the most downloaded paid application at Apple’s online shop.
“Achieving this much success with Peace just doesn’t feel good, which I didn’t anticipate,” Arment said in a post at Marco.org. “Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a tonne of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don’t deserve the hit.”
The $2.99 app jumped to the top of the charts after the Wednesday release of updated iOS 9 Apple mobile operating software that allows the use of programmes blocking ads from popping up while visiting websites using Safari web browser.
While blocking ads promised to make surfing the internet from iPhones or iPads faster and rein in telecom data use, it also sabotages what has long been the main way websites make money while providing free content or services.
“Of course, ads pay for properties on the web,” said Rob Enderle, independent analyst of Enderle Group. “You are essentially fast-forwarding through the commercials the way people do with TV.”
Skipping ads is not new, according to the analyst. Ad blockers have been options on desktop computers for some time, but the numbers of people who opt to turn them on have been low.
Meanwhile, mobile lifestyles involving smartphones or tablets have increasingly centred on using apps that sidestep web browsers altogether.
Ad-blocking does not apply to apps, which are vetted by Apple before being allowed in the App Store and which come with the ability of Apple to share in revenue generated.
Advertisers could be even more drawn to Facebook, which has its own ad platform at the social network.
The mainstay of Google revenue continues to be online ads, but a good portion of that involves search page marketing posts that are not affected by ad-blocking applications, according to analysts.