When Google or Apple pull apps from their app stores, developers and consumers tend to have a fit, followed by a bit of angry blogging, talk of freedom of speech, etc, but Google’s latest decision to ban ad blockers from its store might actually go down well with quite a few devs.
Google claims the blockers violate its terms of service, plain and simple. The terms specifically state that any app that “interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorised manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party” needs to go.
Needless to say, the decision to block the ad-blockers has prompted developers to go absolutely ape and vent their frustrations on Twitter. However, the vast majority of developers should be quite pleased by Google’s decision. Most developers rely solely on ad revenue and the last thing they want is every Android phone running an ad-blocker.
Mobile ad revenues are already pathetic. They are much lower than desktop ad revenues and they are not picking up, which means mobile developers and content creators have to work more for less.
Of course, the fact that ad-blockers will no longer be available through Google’s Play Store doesn’t mean they are gone for good. Users will still be able to get them via third-party app stores, or simply download and install them on their own. Most users, however, probably won’t bother.