For the better part of the past two decades, YouTube has dominated the video streaming industry, but its latest experiment could potentially alienate its user base.
Ads have emerged as a primary source of revenue for the platform, but over time, the duration and frequency of ads have increased, compelling users to seek ways to circumvent them through ad blockers. However, the platform is currently in the process of testing a novel feature that will prevent users with ad blockers from accessing video content on the site.
As per reports from users who have come across this feature, whenever the platform detects an active ad blocker, it will display a message that reads:
Ad blockers are not allowed on YouTube.
It looks like you may be using an ad blocker.
Ads allow YouTube to stay free for billions of users worldwide.
You can go ad-free with YouTube Premium and creators can still get paid from your subscription.
A YouTube employee has reportedly acknowledged the existence of this feature and clarified that it is currently in the experimental phase, with limited availability among users. In response to this, YouTube users have taken to social media to express their strong opposition to this feature. Here's what they had to say:
"Those are fighting words Youtube, especially when you were the one who MADE me use adblock with your insistance of tossing unskippable decades long double whammy ads everywhere."
"good luck with that i got blocks build into my router i refuse to watch ads and i refuse to pay youtube any money."
"My adblocks still work just fine. The minute I start to see forced ads or my adblocks no longer work, I will cease using Youtube and start using the alternative sites."
Should it be implemented, this new feature will join the growing roster of YouTube features that have garnered public backlash, including the removal of the dislike counter, which was introduced in 2021.
As alternative content creation platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels continue to gain momentum, YouTube will have to adapt to the evolving market if it hopes to avoid a fate similar to that of Vine.