by tom moodyComments Off on ad-blocking "inflection point"
A few brief words about adblockingmageddon below but first, note use of "tap" instead of "click" in this screenshot (and since we said adblockingmageddon we can't really complain about the horrible word "embiggen").
Have been wondering when "tap" would replace "click" as a metaphor (one-tap install, tap-through, tapbait, etc).
In the flare-up over the new iPhone OS's venturesome enabling of ad-blockers, Lauren Weinstein refers to an "inflection point":
Apple's new iOS 9 ad blocking push threatens to be the inflection point that transforms ad blocking from a relatively niche application class to much more of a default situation.
What about the inflection point that pushes vocabulary from click to tap? A far more dangerous scenario -- whole stories will have to be rewritten.
At any rate, the "situation" regarding ad-blockers is as follows. Perhaps a couple of years ago an intrepid PC user installed the Ghostery ad-and-tracker blocker because she was sick of merchants following her around the web. It didn't occur to her that she was impacting anyone's publishing model because she's "niche" - a non-phone user who took the trouble to install Ghostery. But now Apple, the hardware leader since the mass shift from PCs to phones, is providing support for ad-blockers on surfin' Safari (which it hadn't before). This affects sole proprietor websites who rely on Google ads and other nickel-and-dime ways to raise revenue. It even affects newspapers and magazines, which are famously downsizing. Ominously, some have noted, Apple just launched a mandatory news app that publishers pay to access. Could it be that Apple plans to starve publishers of ad revenue and bottleneck news through their app? The app will have ads (which you can't block) but it's not clear how publishers will pay to "place" news if they are denied ad income.
One solution to all this is "throw away your phone" but that's not, um, viable.
Corrected (hat tip bamboo) to note that Apple is allowing ad blockers, not implementing them -- Lauren Weinstein and other critics are trumpeting that Apple is "pushing" blockers so in my reading haste and not-really-giving-a-shit-about-phones I assumed it meant something more forceful than just "allowing" them. An inflection point is indeed a moment of great sensitivity when so many people have ceded monopoly power to one company (by crawling into a phone and bringing their whole lives with them).