Today, Adblock Plus, an uber-popular piece of (you guessed it) online advertisement-blocking software, launched an early version of a service that will allow acceptable ads to be displayed to users of its premium service, also named Adblock Plus, according to the Verge.
In other words, a service that blocks ads is now selling ads.
Some people online are unhappy with the decision.
Actually, a lot of people are upset.
Hey, Adblock Plus now sells ads! So if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go start a minibar catering business for AA meetings.— Richard Jeter (@MilesToGo13) September 13, 2016
Like, a lot of people.
It does sound a little counterintuitive. An ad-blocking service that actually puts more ads on your screen?
Hold on. Put the pitchforks and torches away.
There seems to be some misunderstanding regarding our new platform. You can still block all ads with ABP, even those on the new platform.— Adblock Plus (@AdblockPlus) September 13, 2016
It turns out a user can still block all ads if they so desire. So everyone can chill out.
Here's how the new service works.
Adblock Plus will continue to block the vast majority of ads a user sees on the internet. However, the service will display a select few ads that it has vetted (ones that aren't intrusive, offensive, or gratuitous) on certain websites. They're going to be working with advertisers to make sure the ads are appropriate.
Adblock hopes that this service will start a shift towards better ads on the internet. The company can work with advertisers to make better ads, and then market those acceptable ads to publishers online.
Publishers, however, won't be happy. If they want an ad to be seen, given the software's popularity, it's likely they'll have to work with Adblock to license the acceptable ads. They're no longer in complete control of what ads are seen on their site. Also, by becoming a part of the program, Adblock will get a 6 percent share of the revenue generated by the ad on that site.
Hero image courtesy of Eyeo