Apart from releasing a few new iMacs and some updated MacBooks along with a new smart speaker, Apple also unveiled a new feature for Safari browser that is bound to make some waves across the Ad tech world. Apple is reportedly working on a feature that aims to remove intrusive ads while users are browsing the web.
The company will be using machine learning tools to find out which privately-controlled domains can track users cross-site at the device. All this is thanks to Intelligent Tracking Prevention that takes all the user actions conducted within the browser and saves them in a private domain so that ad-tech cannot identify them. The tool then analyses the interaction between users and the frequency of interactions taking place. If users do not come to the website, the browser will purge all the cookies after 30 days. The browser will accommodate for behavioral changes according to how often the user does visit the specified website. Apple claims that the Intelligent Tracking Prevention tool was designed to protect user privacy.
Today less than 5% of people browse the web using Safari. With this new feature that number is likely to grow. This could lead Apple to taking away Chrome’s market share of 60%, forcing other browsers to also implement in-built ad-blocking or ad-tracking features. Safari’s new feature is meant to automatically block ads whose audio and video automatically play on websites. This could make furious users want to welcome the feature, especially since audio/visual ads are intrusive to the web-browsing experience.
Safari will allow users to browse the web through a special ‘Reader’ mode that will strip the website of ads and keep other elements in the layout in-tact. Why this particular feature, which is being widely adapted by browsers nowadays will affect user interaction, is because now publishers will have to reshape the foundations of their advertising logic, based on what people want to see and what they do not want to see. With a feature like this, the browser no more serves as being just a portal to the web, but also as police for regulating the extent of ads.
While it is good news for users and the web overall, it is bad news for online publishers, whose revenue and source of income directly depends on these ads.