At WWDC, Apple's annual conference, Apple has announced two new changes to the upcoming desktop version of Safari which should make the browser more friendly to consumers and privacy advocates.
Ad Blocking Software
Advertising is both the bane and source of much of the content we consume online. Ad revenue allows journalists, bloggers, YouTubers, and others to make a living off their content without having to charge their audiences. Unfortunately, ads are also rather annoying and many consumers resort to ad blockers in order deal with them. This provides content creators with no revenue which leads us to Apple's compromise.
In the world of online ads, few things are more hated than autoplay videos. These pop-ups will often start playing a video as soon as the page loads and, in some cases, can cause issues with browsers. That is why Apple is introducing a new feature that will enable Safari users to automatically block autoplay ads. This will understandably upset some advertisers and content creators, but it may help them in the long run by discouraging users from installing Adblock or other software which indiscriminately blocks all ads.
Ad Tracking and Privacy Concerns
While not as annoying as autoplay videos, some ads follow users across the internet. These may not be as noticeable to an average user, but many privacy advocates have concerns regarding ad trackers. There are very few regulations in place regarding how the information collected by advertisers may be used. These are yet another reason ad blockers have thrived.
As stated above, we don't currently have many details regarding this system, but something similar is already being used on the mobile version of Safari so we can expect the desktop edition to be similar.
The new version of Safari will block these ad trackers so that they can no longer collect a user's data. They provided little in the way of details regarding how this system would work, but, regardless, it is still a welcome improvement.
Effects On The Ad Industry
Safari only has a market share of about 3.6 percent so these updates aren't likely to change the way advertisers work. However, Google is implementing a similar system in Chrome, which accounts for more than 50 percent of the market, and this may result in change regarding online advertising practices. It may also encourage privacy-concerned Mac fans to stick with Safari rather than download Chrome or another browser which supports these features.