Ad-blockers are controversial things. We know you're not fans of adverts on Gizmodo UK for starters, but they do generate revenue for the publications you love (sorry guys, we gotta eat). On the other hand, when they're intrusive, they can turn you away from the very same sites (and, to pre-empt you all, I know our ad teams get it wrong sometimes). It's particularly frustrating when advertisements start costing you money – and I'm not talking about picking up a promoted product.
Instead, ad-heavy sites can chip away at the mobile data allowances we pay for every month. So, with the introduction of the ad-blocker supporting iOS 9, the NYT pulled out its iPhone 6, and started checking whether or not using an ad-blocker on Safari could, in a roundabout way, save readers money.
The answer was a resounding "YES". While it's hard to do a like-for-like comparison against UK networks' data packages, the NYT found that hitting up an ad-heavy site like Boston.com once a month with an ad-blocker activated could save $9.50 (£6.27) in data usage costs alone. That's an extreme example, but even looking out our US sister brand Gawker, a daily visit would cost you $0.03 in ad usage against $0.04 in editorial. A fairer balance then, but it'd still mount up.
When purely using a phone for browsing, the New York Times found that ad blockers could eke an extra 21 per cent out of a battery, too (likely down to auto-playing video ads), as well (as expected) significantly speeding up page load times.
On the flip side to the benefits, some sites (especially those conducting online sales) can be completely borked by an ad-blocker, so it's not always beneficial. And, of course, without ad-money, sites like our own couldn't exist. So consider whitelisting your favoured online destinations. [NYT]