Samsung joins Apple in mobile ad blocking

The scurge of publishers on the desktop arrives for Android mobiles.

Ad blockers have long been a curse for publishers pushing ads to websites viewed on desktops and laptops.

One report estimates 480,000 Kiwis use an ad blocker.

Now ad blockers are invading mobiles – up to now a large adblock-free, fast growing area for advertisers.

Samsung is today adding support for ad-blocking plugins to the web browser preinstalled on its Android phones.

The Korean giant is following a similar move by Apple, which added support for ad-blocking apps with its iOS9 software update last September.

The logic is that mobile ads can be distracting. Like desktop ads, they can whiz and whirl, making it difficult to read an article. But on a smartphone or tablet, there's an additional problem: often you're paying for the mobile data, including ads, and mobile data is still relatively expensive.

When Apple first made its iOS9 update available, ad blockers suddenly crowded the top of its App Store chart.

The better news for those pushing ads is that the popularity of blockers faded almost as quicky as they arrived as Apple culled a number of apps that went as far as blocking ads that appeared inside other apps, such as Facebook, and suppressed Apple's own iAds. Apple cited security and privacy concerns.

NBR ONLINE, in case you're wondering, has a focus on subscriber revenue and quality reader experience. The site features just one ad on the desktop version of its home page, and none on its mobile site.

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