The world’s dominant internet browser, Google Chrome, with over two thirds of market share has rolled out its ad quality requirements globally. The news comes as challenger Mozilla plots a subscription play to ensure user privacy.

The IT publication The Register reported that Google would roll out its capability to block irritating adverts beyond Europe and North America. The website adds that Google believes the extension of the filter will not affect a large proportion of the global ad load as less than 1% of ads failed to meet standards as of July 2019, Google says.

Chrome’s extension of the bad ad blockade has been expanding for well over a year now. In February 2018 the company announced that it would start supporting the Better Ads Standards initiative, which had emerged out of research involving over 25,000 consumers across North America and Europe.

The company said it would start by “filtering” disliked ads. Unsurprisingly, the formats most disliked by the sample were full page interstitials, ads with unexpected sound, and ads that flash. The list was even longer for mobile ads.

For the ad industry, which felt a convulsion upon Google’s announcement due to its sheer power, the changes have actually meant ad quality has made a slight improvement and is, theoretically, reaching its target. That is, unless users have installed a third-party blocker.  

“In my mind, the more important opportunity here is to filter out malvertising (ads laced with malware) and drive-by crypto-mining ads, and other unwanted security risks that come in through the ad slots,” Augustine Fou, a cybersecurity and ad fraud researcher told the website.

Though Google’s browser remains the undisputed market leader – challenger Mozilla Firefox enjoys only 9.58% global market share compared to Chrome’s 69.5% - competitors are making plays to draw in users wary of Google’s increasingly alarming market power.

Mozilla, for its part, has started promoting a Firefox-based news subscription product slated to go live in October. The Verge reported that there is as yet relatively detail as to the service’s precise launch date or actual product, but it appears that it is working with Scroll, a news subscription startup, which is still in beta. According to a teaser site, the service would cost $4.99 a month.

This follows news last month that Mozilla would expand its services business through subscription, rather than ad-funded services like Google’s. It will, for instance, offer access to a VPN service or cloud storage, with a goal of diversifying revenue sources.

A smaller challenger yet, Brave, has been focusing on improving its own ad network. A radical idea, the Brave browser works through a system of attention tokens, which strip out ads from websites and replaces them with non-tracked, non-intrusive ads from Brave’s network or none. Its offer to advertisers, however, is that users are engaged and empowered. On its website, Brave adds that “Users receive 70% of the revenue share in BAT [Basic Attention Tokens], which can be contributed to content creators or redeemed through Brave Rewards.”

Sourced from The Register, The Verge, Brave