Ad Blockers Seeing Record Uninstalls Amid YouTube Crackdown

In the wake of YouTube’s crackdown against ad blockers, data from various ad blocking companies have revealed record uninstalls as users follow Google’s instructions to re-open access.

October witnessed an unprecedented number of ad blocker uninstalls, suggesting that YouTube’s strategy is having its intended effect, according to Wired.

Krzysztof Modras, Director of Product and Engineering at Ghostery, a notable ad blocker and privacy tools developer, noted a surge in both uninstalls and installs throughout October.

Over 90% of users who uninstalled Ghostery cited issues with YouTube as the primary reason. Interestingly, Ghostery installations on Microsoft’s Edge browser saw a 30% increase in October compared to September, indicating users were seeking alternatives.

AdGuard, which has 55 million users leveraging its free ad blocking tools and an additional 20 million for its paid versions, reported a noticeable rise in uninstallations last month as well.

Andrey Meshkov, AdGuard’s CTO, shared that from October 9 to the end of the month, uninstallation of its Chrome extension exceeded 11,000 per day, peaking at about 52,000 on October 18. However, installations also surged, suggesting users were looking for ad blockers that could bypass YouTube’s pop-up warnings.

Another extension, AdLock, recorded a 30% increase in both daily installations and uninstalls in October compared to previous months.

While many ad blocker providers prioritize user privacy and don’t track usage directly, basic installation and uninstallation statistics are available through Chrome’s extension store.

Google said this week that its crackdown on ad blockers was now global, citing how using ad blockers is against the YouTube terms of service. Looks like this game of cat and mouse will continue, but so far YouTube seems to have the upper hand.

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