I released Crystal last Wednesday, a content blocker for iOS 9 that blocks advertising and user tracking in mobile Safari. Since then, It's had an amazing response and hit the top of the App Store charts in 30 countries within a short amount of time. Other content blockers have also stormed the charts worldwide proving there is a huge demand at the moment for these apps.
But why? Well, I held a short survey to people signed up to Crystal's launch newsletter and visitors of the Crystal website, that received over 800 replies. (raw results here)
Why Do you want to block Mobile Ads?
A Loss of Focus
This question was to pick the most important reason why you would like to block mobile advertising.
Visual clutter and site load times make up 64% of the poll. They compliment each other perfectly as the more advertising you add to a web page, the more cluttered it becomes, the slower it takes to load and ultimately it'll cause more frustration to the reader.
I've seen a lot of websites cram so many different ad networks together, which often don't compliment each other and take a strong focus away from the content of the site. Here is a great example from pcmag.com. Any point they tried to make with their article was discredited before the reader has got past the headline.
Privacy concerns makes up a strong 22%. Honouring browser options such as Do Not Track may be beneficial to rebuild the trust between a subset of users and the sites they visit.
Given the option, how would you like to support your favourite ad-supported sites?
Not All Readers Want to Block Ads
When surveying people who wanted to install an adblocker, this was the most surprising result to me.
71% of people who are blocking ads are not actually against advertising in general and are more than happy to allow advertising that meets an acceptable criteria or whitelist a site by site basis. My first planned update to Crystal plans to cater for this majority by introducing a feature to allow Acceptable Ads and a user-managed whitelist. You can read more about that here.
22% however are willing to pay money to support sites, either to remove advertising or to receive extra content. If you're a publisher, would it be worth losing advert clicks/impressions for ~20% of your readers in exchange for $1-5 a month per user?
6.5% of the voters don't want to support their favourite sites with adviews or money.