YouTube is testing a new feature that could potentially limit access to its services for users who employ ad-blocking software.
According to various reports, YouTube is conducting a “small global experiment” to encourage users with ad-blocking software to disable it when using the platform or to consider subscribing to YouTube Premium. The move is seen as a response to the increasing use of ad-blocking extensions, such as AdBlock, which have been popular among users seeking an ad-free viewing experience.
The new feature, as experienced by some users in the United States, allows viewers to watch three videos after which, upon launching a fourth, it requests the disabling of the ad-blocker. This could significantly impact active users of ad-blocking extensions, which are commonly used as browser add-ons.
YouTube suggests an alternative for users who wish to maintain an ad-free environment — subscribing to YouTube Premium. This subscription service not only removes ads but also offers additional features such as offline video downloads.
The implementation of this feature has sparked a wave of reactions from the user community, with many expressing their displeasure. The abundance of ads on YouTube has been a common complaint among users, and some have noted that ad-blockers do not solve all issues, such as enabling music playback with the screen turned off.
While the testing phase is currently limited to a small user base and not all ad-blockers, it is possible that the company may make these requirements mandatory for all in the future. However, it’s worth noting that YouTube has tested various features in the past that have not been fully implemented.