YouTube is testing a new feature that may soon prevent users from watching videos with ad blockers. Recently, one of the users, who does not have a Premium subscription and uses an ad blocker, encountered an alert that ad-blocking software is not allowed on YouTube. The user was asked to subscribe to Premium as an alternative to watching videos without ads.
The user shared his experience on the Reddit forums, and moderators of the YouTube thread confirmed that the message received by the user was part of an experimental project. Although there are no details yet, this may become the norm. Google, which owns YouTube, has been fighting against ad blockers for some time. The company banned ad-blocking extensions for Chrome before. A year ago, the company defeated the popular YouTube Vanced app that blocks ads on YouTube for users without a Premium subscription.
The platform has started testing an option where videos on the browser are not played when the ad blocker is enabled. An employee of the service confirmed this information, and those who became test participants received a notification from YouTube. They were offered to turn off their ad blocker and watch promotional videos or subscribe to YouTube Premium.
It is worth mentioning that the platform frequently conducts such experiments to test different features that may appear in the future. As part of one of these tests, users were offered a subscription to watch videos in 4K resolution.
Google was going to switch its Chrome browser to the Manifest V3 extension system in January 2023, which would render current versions of blockers useless. However, the transition to Manifest V3 has been delayed as the developers continue analysing feedback and changing the new system. Also, in 2016, Google removed all non-browser-integrated ad blockers from the Play Store.
In conclusion, YouTube’s new experiment is expected to spark a new round of war with ad blockers. It’s clear that companies like Google are trying to find ways to stop people from using ad blockers because of the growing use of them and the revenue loss they cause. It remains to be seen how this will affect YouTube’s audience and whether or not it will encourage more users to use alternatives that do not display ads.