iOS 9 Launch marks start of Mobilegeddon proper

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Last Friday saw the official launch of Apple’s iOS 9 - which gives mobile users access to privacy controls on their browser - meaning an effective ad blocker / 3rd party cookie blocker for all those iPhone and iPad users. This will mean that many businesses which are heavily reliant on banner-advertising revenues, will need to recalibrate their approaches or suffer significant falls in revenue.


"iOS tools like ’Crystal’ give people the ability to remove mobile web clutter, promising that this will increase page load times by 4x, cut data usage in half, and increase battery life." (VentureBeat)


I myself have been using Ghostery on Chrome for a couple of years now, it’s my most useful browser utility. It saves me untold time when navigating the web, and those few websites which break down completely (i.e. don’t load content when ad-blockers are present) I just avoid now.


With time being such a precious commodity to everyone, it is more than understandable that something which saves you heaps of time is a must-have utility in your daily work. We are accustomed to skimming across dozens of sites in quick succession, firing up multiple windows and utilising interlaced-browsing techniques to get to the point quicker and more efficiently.


I am one of those many individuals who has lost his cool with a certain kind of advertising - the blanket-bombing banners of old, and in particular screen take-overs with auto-play videos. If it’s a site I use frequently, I am quite happy to pay for an ad-free experience - I don’t want the website using every trick in the book do divert me from my central mission - I am there with a purpose.


In some ways I wouldn’t mind so much if the advertising wasn’t quite so intrusive and interruptive - and so off-topic. I very rarely click on a banner - I’m guessing single digits in the last few years. If I search for something off-the-cuff on Amazon or Ebay, I don’t want to see ads for that object for the next few weeks. If it’s important to me, I will have added it to a wishlist or bookmark - often these are just cursory investigations - a peak as it were, you don’t want to be swarmed and swamped with attention when you are just starting to look around. The irony in shops these days is that staff are agressively in your face when you don’t need them, and nowhere to be seen when you do! Online though it is more akin to being stalked from one store to the next - an ugly kind of persistent harassment.


As touched on above - the big thing with mobile device ownership is ’Data Plans’ (4G typically) - you pay for so many GBs of data per month. Advertisers surreptitiously eat up your Data Plans with large-file-size ads and auto-play videos which have already loaded themselves into your devices’ memory. You are paying three-fold - in lost productivity, battery-life and in bandwidth costs - to view things you really don’t want to see.


I am a fan of News Feeds / News Highlights - like you get on Facebook. Here the advertising is inline - and you can quickly and easily skip past it if it’s irrelevant. I really don’t mind this kind of native advertising, nor do I mind the entertaining Click-baiting and Listicle advertorial stylings of BuzzFeed - these to me are the acceptable face of advertising.


I’m not one of those saying kill all advertising, I’m just saying that it should be more streamlined and inline, less salesy / shouty, and more elegant and entertaining. Most cinema ads are engineered differently to 30 second TV slots - they tend to be more entertaining, filmic, and immersive - while 30 second slots are simply just shouty sales announcements.


Like many other individuals who have developed selective hearing, I have developed selective seeing for certain types of ads - my brain just knows to detune my senses when they are spotted - so they blur into the background. Of course this takes up a higher degree of brain bandwidth, but is well worth it not to be battered by the usually inane and grasping stylings of those types of ads.


The cynic in me fears that Apple is screening out those types of ads so it can launch its own flavour of advertising again. While it lasts though, I’m grateful for getting back some control over what I can and what I don’t wish to see ...


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