Opera considers making ad-blocking a default browser feature
Last year, Opera introduced native ad blocking as an optional feature in its browser. Surprisingly, it seems the majority of Opera users still haven't tried it. This has led the company to consider being more aggressive in future implementations of its ad blocker.
In its latest blog post, Opera has shared a map (seen above) of the regions where its ad-blocking feature is used the most. Canada leads the pack, with just over a third of users there taking advantage of the feature; the United States, Western Europe, and Japan aren't too far behind.
Apparently, Opera finds this low adoption rate unacceptable. Also unacceptable to Opera is the ad industry's slow move towards lighter ads. Existing ads are bloated, increase the size and load times of web pages, and some even include trackers. The Interactive Advertising Bureau's new standards for light, non-intrusive ads are a step in the right direction, according to Opera, but they aren't being adopted fast enough.
Third-party ad blockers are a popular option on competing browsers. However, Opera claims they are much slower than its native solution, and according to its own research, "browsing with Opera's ad-blocking feature is on average 50% faster compared to browsing on Google Chrome with AdBlock Plus." The research also indicates a significant advantage in browser startup times.
Opera hopes that this information will convince more of its browser users to give its ad blocker a shot. Still, it hasn't taken other options off the table, including "help[ing] people be more active in blocking ads going forward." This suggests that using Opera's ad blocker may not be optional in the future.