Chrome to limit certain ads to protect battery life and data

Google recently announced that it would start block heavy ads in the Chrome browser in order to face the impact these could have on system and network performance and on device autonomy.

Google explains that these heavy advertisements can abuse system resources without the user’s knowledge. In some cases, they are used to mine cryptocurrency or are simply poorly optimized or programmed, so Google no longer wants them to appear when browsing the web with Chrome.

The browser will therefore start to limit the resources that an ad can use. “In order to save our users’ batteries and data plans, and provide them with a good web experience, Chrome will limit the resources that a displayed ad can use before the user interacts with the ad. When an ad reaches its limit, the ad frame will navigate to an error page, informing the user that the ad has used too many resourcesSays Google.

The company also announced the first thresholds it will use to separate heavy ads from those that don’t hurt. “We have targeted the most egregious advertisements, those that use more CPU or network bandwidth than 99.9% of all advertisements detected for this resource. Chrome sets the thresholds at 4 MB of network data or 15 seconds of CPU usage over a period of 30 seconds, or 60 seconds of total CPU use. While only 0.3% of ads exceed this threshold today, they account for 27% of network data used by ads and 28% of total ad CPU usageSays Google.

Heavy ad blockers will be operational in August

The new heavy ad blockers will be put into service in the stable version of Chrome at the end of August, because Google says it needs several months for testing, so additional information will be shared closer to the launch date.

Google seems to be in the mood to control ads, since earlier this year it announced that Chrome would start blocking three of the most annoying types of video ads, also starting in August. In February, Google removed 600 apps from the Google Play store that contained too many annoying ads for Google’s disruptive advertising policy to be put down.