Opera launches ad blocking browser

Opera Software. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)
Opera Software. (Duncan Alfreds, Fin24)

Cape Town – Opera Software has launched a native ad blocker in its Opera Mini browser amid a global shift to limit intrusive mobile advertising.

The browser, traditionally popular with mobile users for compressing web pages to save data costs will increase page load times because of the ad blocker, the company claims.

“Our ad blocker speeds up Opera Mini by stopping ad requests that slow down your browser, making it 40% faster compared to the previous, already fast Opera Mini version,” said Nuno Sitima, senior vice president of Mobile Browsers at Opera.

As marketers pursue customers on mobile devices, advertising has consumed a larger slice of mobile data.

Industry research firm eMarketer estimates that mobile advertising in 2016 will hit $100bn, accounting for more than half of digital advertising spend.

Ad blocking movement

READ: Advertising gobbles 20% of your mobile data

According to Strand Consult, advertising makes up an average of 20% of mobile data, while Enders Analysis puts the number at anywhere between 18% and 79% of smartphone data.

A 2015 survey by GlobalWebIndex found that 79% of respondents were either already blocking ads on mobile or were interested in doing so.

“This is a frequently-requested feature from users who want faster browsing that’s less data hungry and less distracting,” said Sitima.

Apple recently built ad blocking into its operating system and even Google, which makes most of its money from advertising, has allowed ad blocking apps on its Play Store.

StatCounter ranks Opera Mini as the fourth global browser with a 9.7% market share, but in South Africa where data costs are a significant expense, it dominates with a 49.7% market share.

On the new browser for Android, you will find the ad blocking toggle switch under the data saving summary menu.

Would ad blocking convince you to switch web browsers? Let us know

WATCH this online video on mobile ad blocking:

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