Ad blockheads are all the rage in tech news these days in the wake of Apple’s introduction of ad blockers for its mobile devices.
And now you can add New York Times Tech Fix guy Brian X. Chen to the roll call.
Testing Mobile Ad Blockers
To block ads or not to block ads on your mobile device? That’s the philosophical dilemma facing consumers since Apple added support for ad blockers to its iPhone operating system a couple of weeks ago.
To help answer the question, we decided to put multiple ad blockers to the test. Over the course of four days, we used several ad-blocking apps on our iPhones and measured how much the programs cut down on web page data sizes and improved loading times, and also how much they increased the smartphone’s battery life.
Chen proceeds to measure “the mix of advertising and editorial on the mobile home pages of the top 50 news websites – including ours – and found that more than half of all data came from ads and other content filtered by ad blockers.”
Why Boston.com drives you nuts graf:
The benefits of ad blockers stood out the most when loading the Boston.com website. With ads, that home page on average measured 19.4 megabytes; with ads removed using Crystal or Purify, it measured four megabytes, and with 1Blocker, it measured 4.5 megabytes. On a 4G network, this translated to the page taking 39 seconds to load with ads and eight seconds to load without ads.
Then again, given Boston.com’s spotty history, that 31 seconds just might be the pause that redresses.
Their pay site, however, is among the lowest. As it should be, right?
Globe editor Brian McGrory incessantly cites BostonGlobe.com as the second most trafficked metro newspaper site. But it has about 95,000 subscribers vs. the New York Times’s one million subscribers.
Which makes the Globe the tallest building in Topeka.