Technology

Yahoo Blocks Ad Blocker Users, Says It Is Just ‘Testing’

Yahoo has confirmed that it is restricting some users from accessing their email if they are making use of ad-blocking software in their browser. Some U.S. users reported of a message in Yahoo Mail asking them to turn off their ad blocker to access their inbox.

Yahoo

Disabling ad blocker can help in many ways

Confirming the action, Yahoo said, “We are continually developing and testing new product experiences. This is a test we’re running for a small number of Yahoo Mail users in the U.S.”

However, one of the members on an ad-blocking forum said they had already found a way to bypass Yahoo’s restriction. Yahoo’s latest action was first spotted by DigiDay, which located the issue on an Adblock Plus forum. Many Yahoo Mail users have also taken to social platforms like Twitter to complain.

People in favor of ad blockers argue that disabling ads can improve the battery life of a smartphone, and also lower mobile data usage. It could also prevent tracking of potential customers by advertisers online. Ad blockers can also protect devices from malware, which can attack if an advertising network is compromised.

Last year, Yahoo acknowledged that advertisements on its homepage remained infected with malware for about four days. Yahoo currently relies on advertising to earn revenue from its Mail service, which of course is available for free.

Move from Yahoo only the start

Different tech firms have a different stance on controversial ad-blocking software. A couple of months ago, Apple updated its mobile iOS to enable third-party ad-blockers. However, such blockers do not block Apple’s own ads that pop up in apps. Also Google has come up with a paid subscription version of YouTube that allows users to remove ads from the platform for a monthly fee.

Yahoo’s action can been seen as the latest sign of the rising tension between Internet companies and consumers over the use of the ad-blocking software. Such tools have been available on desktop Web browsers for some time now, but on mobile, they have been offered only recently. With the growing usage of ad blockers, web publishers are worrying that it could place their businesses at risk. Jason Calacanis, an investor and entrepreneur, said Yahoo’s move can be seen as the start of the “AdBlocking Wars.”

Get our newsletter and our in-depth investor case studies all for free!