AdGuard Blog: A no-name ad blocker will serve you ads, Zuckerberg will delete your face. The world is cruel, read our digest

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Behold the recent release of our irregular digest!

Andrey Meshkov, CTO and co-founder of AdGuard, has recently spoken at a big industry event: Ad Blocker Dev Summit 2021. We've published a blog post based on his presentation, give it a read. Besides, you can watch it on YouTube, along with the other videos from the conference.

Preparing this digest we've invented ourselves a challenge: not to mention Facebook (or Meta, of course). There's a feeling that everybody is already a little tired from revelations, scandals, and accusations around the world's largest social network.

There are quite controversial native ads appearing in Telegram, but we ended up deciding it requires a full-fledged article about why they are controversial, what is wrong with them and what is right, and of course what we at AdGuard are going to do about them. So you won't find anything about that in the digest.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Too bad there was no news on their plans re: Chrome Manifest V3. Isn't that the big news category for adblockers in '22-'23?
Last update on that was from September:
Manifest V3 and AdGuard
First of all, let us tell you about our immediate plans. We're currently overhauling the entire thing in order to move it to a new, better filtering engine. The first beta version is coming very soon, but it's not too late to join the fun: just install our beta Chrome extension. On a sad note, it will be rendered useless for users of Chromium-based browsers after January 2023. All the benefits will remain for other browsers' users to enjoy, though. And if you're a user of an AdGuard desktop or mobile app, why are you even reading this? You're completely fine and have nothing to worry about.

Second of all, in aticipation of Manifest V3 we're already working on a prototype for the new ad blocker extension, and let me tell you — it's hard. Manifest V3 is still raw, some things just don't yet work the way they were designed to. But we'll manage, as we always do, so hopefully you'll be able to compare the quality of the old and the new extensions soon. Will it become worse? Almost undeniably, but not by too much. The real victims in this transition are filter developers — most filter lists are maintained by single developers, who more often than not work on filters for free in their spare time. It will be not feasible for many of them to single-handedly rework the entire list to match the Manifest V3 requirements. We already discussed this threat in one of our previous articles.

What'll happen after 2023? Our bet is that Firefox will keep extensions made with Manifest V2 in their store, for a while at least. There probably is a point somewhere in the future when Mozilla will move to something else, whatever it will turn out to be. And the rest of the Chromium-based browsers will start migrating to Manifest V3. Even the ones that express their readiness to stick to MV2 and support backwards compatibility won't be able to do that forever.

There is a small ray of hope represented by the W3C workgroup, where browser and browser extension developers discuss all kinds of possible improvements. At the very least it provides a feeling of being listened to and heard, but such things rarely work fast. It's unclear when we'll see any real positive changes. Meanwhile, our advice is to go and block some ads — you never know when you'll get deprived of this opportunity.