Popular iOS Ad-blocker, Crystal, is to allow companies to show you ads and has come in for some serious criticism for doing so.
Crystal developer, Dean Murphy, has made an agreement with a company called Eyeo GmbH that will allow some ads to be allowed past Crystal’s ad filter. Murphy is to receive a flat monthly fee from Eyeo in exchange for allowing certain ads to be shown via Crystal. This fee will be on top of whatever money he makes from the sale of the actual app itself.
Peace out, Crystal in
Ad blocker Crystal has become one of the top selling apps on the Apple Store since the previous must-have ad blocker, Peace, was removed without warning by developer Marco Arment after barely being on sale a week. A Wall Street Journal article from last week stated that the Crystal app had been downloaded over one hundred thousand times since its September 16th debut, and that Murphy has made an estimated $75,000 in that brief period of time.
Acceptable Ads Initiative
Eyeo Gmbh claims to have an acceptable ads only policy that will supposedly prevent overly annoying or intrusive advertising from being shown. The move is part of the ‘Acceptable Ads Initiative,‘ a project supported by some pretty big names in the industry. Reddit and Adblock Plus are just two of the players who have thrown their weight behind it.
Eyeo GmbH actually owns Adblock Plus, so that they support the Ads Initiative isn’t all that much of a surprise.
The Whitelist, not as Crystal clear as it’s made out to be
But that doesn’t mean the idea doesn’t have some merits. According to Adweek.com ‘advertisers must first apply to have their ads white-listed. The group then works with advertisers to build ads that fit the criteria.’ While the effort is commendable, over seventy companies currently pay to be let through existing ad blocker apps and software.
Google, and Microsoft are some of the biggest contributors. Eyeo told the WSJ last week there are currently over seven hundred companies out there that already meet their criteria for advert inclusion.
The internet is not happy with the move.
It’s hard to tell whether the mood emanating from disgruntled users of Crystal are angry with Murphy for ‘selling out,’ or disappointed in a ‘shakes head slowly and then walks away,’ sort of a way. Reaction has been mixed, but it has mostly been negative.
Murphy’s response to Crystal critics
Is an adblocker that shows ads, an ad blocker at all?
Murphy is unrepentant with the move, responding to the criticisms in a blog post, claiming that only ads which are not ‘annoying or disruptive’ will be shown:
“Blocking all advertising with brute-force doesn’t promote a healthy mobile web that is sustainable and allows publishers to make a living from the free content they provide.”
Not all is at seems, though. According to Murphy, the ‘whitelist’ of allowed ads that make it into Crystal, can still be turned off. However, it will be on by default, so users will have to make a conscious decision to turn it off in the options if they don’t want any ads to appear.