If you use an ad blocker, beware: This is Chrome and YouTube’s latest move

Other Technology | December 11, 2023

If you use an ad blocker, beware: This is Chrome and YouTube’s latest move

Google has definitively declared war on users who have ad-blocking extensions installed in their browsers. If you use an ad blocker, beware: this is the latest move by Chrome and YouTube to prevent you from avoiding the ads in each video.

Initially, YouTube allowed users with such blockers to view a maximum of three videos before limiting their access to the platform. However, that courtesy is now a thing of the past, and to watch videos, users must completely disable these extensions. Despite this restriction, both developers and users persist in their efforts, and new blockers capable of bypassing the limits continue to emerge. Nevertheless, Google’s offices have a new move ready for next year in this chess game.

As announced last November by David Li, Google’s Product Director, the Chrome browser will implement Manifest V3 in June 2024, a new version of its extension division. This implies a change in the rules of the game for developers wanting to launch their own extensions on Google Chrome, directly impacting ad blockers.

From next year onwards, ad blockers will have to pass through a new control filter. In practice, this means that to update the block list, developers of these extensions will have to publish a complete update, subject to review by the Chrome team. This review of each new version of the blockers can take anywhere from a few hours in the best-case scenario to several days, significantly slowing down their activity and effectiveness in preventing users from seeing ads inserted in each YouTube video.

How to avoid seeing ads on YouTube?

Users have not stopped trying to find solutions to this new scenario. How to avoid seeing ads on YouTube? At the time of writing this article, some ad blockers still work on the web version of YouTube (there is no way in the app unless you subscribe to YouTube Premium, their paid service). However, extensions like uBlock Origin warn that YouTube constantly changes its detection systems, so the situation can change immediately.

The current conditions for Google Chrome extensions will remain in effect until Manifest V3 arrives in June 2024, so this scenario may persist until next summer. This new landscape may provide an opportunity for Firefox to regain its position as a leading browser, and Mozilla has already promised that their adaptation of Manifest V3 will continue to be compatible with the operation of ad blockers like uBlock or other alternatives.

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