A lot of online ads are horrible due to their intrusive nature. It makes it difficult for you to get to the actual content. But among these, autoplay videos rank as the most obnoxious since they blare out their messages as soon as the page starts loading.
The good news is that Google is going to do something about it. They announced that they will do a clean-up of these bothersome video ads. In a blog post made by Google Chrome engineers, they confirmed that their browser will stop showing three ad types by August.
First, they will stop showing long preroll video ads as well as ad clusters that last more than 31 seconds. Only ads that you can’t skip within the first five seconds will stop showing up. Second, they’ll remove the midroll ads appearing after a video reaches a certain point.
Image and text ads that cover more than 20% of any content will also stop showing up. Take note, this will only affect short-form videos. These are clips under 8 minutes, meaning longer videos will remain unchanged.
Chrome is the biggest web browser in the world since it takes around 70% of the entire market share. Despite this, Google isn’t the only one who initiated this move. It’s an initiative by The Coalition for Better Ads, whose members include big names like Google, Facebook, World Federation of Advertisers, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
This coalition researched viewers’ ad preferences online in a 45,000-people survey from eight countries. They found that ads that cover 50% of the video, as well as midroll ads and unskippable preroll ads, are the least liked type of short-form video ads.
Online advertising is a large industry. The ad reach of both Facebook and Google on the internet gives companies billions annually. For example, Instagram alone earned Facebook around $20 billion while Google-owned YouTube earned $15 billion from its ads.
Obviously, less obvious and unintrusive advertising campaigns are more preferable for most audiences. Some of these are Image ads after a video ends or small images placed on top of playing videos. It’s proven by the same study, that’s why the coalition sought to update their guidelines to ensure that the three aforementioned ad types won’t appear in videos.
The intrusive ad problem isn’t a new phenomenon. After all, a lot of people are installing adblockers to blot out all ads from their web experience. Another thing to consider is that targeted advertising doesn’t always work.
For now, Google is giving websites that use these ads some time to implement some changes. The company said in a statement that Chrome’s user protection extends by preventing ads from showing up on websites that show these intrusive ads.
Google also said that this will apply to YouTube. They will check the ads on the video-sharing platform to ensure compliance once they implement the changes. After all, Google has problems with ad blockers since more of their ads won’t appear as more people use them.