Apple has begun allowing ad blockers onto the App Store, with ad-blocking apps storming the online store. Users can now essentially download these apps and not have to worry about ads being shoved down their throats while they're using Safari.
Of the top five apps on the evening of Sept. 17, a day after the release of iOS 9, three of them were ad blockers. The top one, called Peace, however, was pulled from the app store on Monday, Sept. 21, after spending 36 hours at the top of the app store.
"I've learned over the last few crazy days that I don't feel good making one and being the arbiter of what's blocked," said Marco Arment, the developer of Peace, in an interview with Wired. "Ad blockers come with an important asterisk: while they do benefit a ton of people in major ways, they also hurt some, including many who don't deserve the hit."
Ad-blockers have been extremely controversial, largely because of the fact that ads are how online media companies make the bulk of their money. With more and more people wanting to block these ads, however, publishers are worried that they will be making significantly less money in years to come.
Despite this, some argue that the real problem for publishers is the fact that there are a number of problems associated with ads, especially on mobile devices. Ads can significantly slow down an Internet browser, and they can also track a user's activity without that user's consent. Arment himself says that ad-blockers are still necessary, but that he doesn't want to be a part of the war between advertisers and ad-blockers. Peace, Arment says, was an all-or-nothing ad-blocker, meaning that either every ad was blocked or none of them were. This approach, according to him, was too blunt and didn't serve his goals.
"If we're going to effect positive change overall, a more nuanced, complex approach is required than what I can bring in a simple iOS app," he continued.