Darius Kazemi was fed up with the ad blocking debate that’s dominated headlines for the past month. The “internet artist” was tired of people defending ad blockers as an inevitability, so he decided to take their arguments to their logical conclusion. He made an “ethical ad blocker” that blocks not only ads, but any site that depends on advertising revenue. Basically, the app breaks the internet, and not everyone gets the joke.
Kazemi and his wife Courtney Stanton started a technology cooperative in Portland called Feel Train, which experts say is the most Millennial name of the millennium. Unfortunately, Feel Train’s solution to the ad blocking controversy probably won’t ever come to fruition; the couple is calling for a universal basic income.
But on Wednesday, October 7, the almighty search engine Google launched its own answer to Apple-enabled ad blocking apps. Google officially launched its Accelerated Mobile Pages project this week, with the goal of ensuring a faster mobile web for everyone. In some cases, internet advertising, videos, and graphics can slow down page load times, an excuse often cited by proponents of ad blocking.
But not if Google has anything to say about it. According to the company’s blog:
“Today, after discussions with publishers and technology companies around the world, we’re announcing a new open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages, which aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.”
Even though Google is popularly known as a search engine, it could more accurately be described as one of the world’s largest advertising agencies. In 2014, the company reported $66 billion in revenue, earned mostly through advertising. And increasingly, digital advertising is going mobile. Experts say mobile users will drive at least 50% of PPC clicks by the end of this year.
Google’s announcement came at the same time as news broke that Apple would allow ad blocking within mobile apps. The AMP project represents a direct response and possible solution to some of the concerns raised about mobile content this month. And ultimately, a faster mobile web will benefit publishers, advertisers, and everyday mobile users alike.