While any form of in-app advertising is annoying to a degree, the economic realities of mobile development basically necessitate it. That is fine, and I have no trouble supporting a reputable developer’s livelihood by putting up with a unobtrusive banner ad, but a few of the new ad units Google revealed today might be a bit harder to stomach.
The worst of the ad types is an interstitial which takes up your smartphone’s entire display. Previously limited to games and the official YouTube app, Google’s TrueView unit lets advertisers feature (thankfully skippable) video content. It will soon roll out to all apps that are a part of AdMob, Google’s mobile ad network.
Less egregious additions to marketers’ arsenal are the mobile lightbox engagement ad, which can contain expandable videos, slideshows, maps, and Anchor, which is a banner ad that persists at the bottom of your screen as you scroll. Neither default to a full screen view.
While certain apps lend themselves better to formats like TrueView and Anchor than others, there comes a point when you would happily pay to remove them. I think options for donation at least give altruistic users who cannot stand advertisements the opportunity to support developers they appreciate, rather than simply disable the ads with blocking tools.
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