Ad blockers are out of date, at least in Google Chrome

O Google released the release schedule for a controversial update. As of 2023, the Google Chrome will put into practice the Manifest V3. This is an update that aims to bring more privacy to users. However, the controversy lies in the fact that ad blocking plugins, popularly known as ad blockerswill be prohibited.

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About Manifest V3

The Manifest V3 update has been under debate since the document was first made public in 2019. At the time, Manifest V2 was already in effect, which changed Google’s policy regarding ad-blocking plugins. And at that time there were already staunch critics of Manifest V2. Just imagine what they thought when Manifest V3 went public.

In 2020 Google released version 88 of Chrome, which already implemented the first traces of Manifest V3. And, once again, the user community has expressed itself unfavorably to Manifest V3. The search giant’s justification has always been the same, that is, to bring more privacy to users.

However, it wasn’t until 2022 that Manifest V3 really started to take shape. For example, in February of that year the Chrome Web Store no longer accepts extensions based on the Manifest V2 standard. And last week Google’s product manager, David Li, released the roadmap for the implementation of Manifest V3. See the schedule below:

  • January 2023: if an extension wants to appear in the “Featured” section, it will have to follow the Manifest V3 standards;
  • June 2023: Extensions based on Manifest V2 will no longer be listed in the Chrome Web Store;
  • January 2024: Extensions based on Manifest V2 will be removed entirely from the Chrome Web Store.

In addition, the executive said that starting with Chrome 112 (which will be released in January), Google can test to disable support for plugins based on Manifest V2 in the Canary, Dev and Beta channels. And support for extensions based on Manifest V2 will be disabled even in the stable channel starting with Chrome 115, which will be released in June 2023.

dissatisfied users

As expected, the most attuned users are extremely dissatisfied. Trying to appease the mood, Google published an article highlighting the advantages and differentials of Manifest V3. According to the company, the new standard will bring more security and tranquility for users to install various plugins. In addition, Manifest V3 will implement more transparency it is a improved permissions control.

There is no denying that these are indeed important advantages for a browser as big as Google Chrome. The big problem is that Manifest V3 will restrict the use of ad blockers. And this is a type of extension that millions of users use, precisely to have a healthier browsing on the internet.

And the impossibility of using ad blockers in Manifest V3 is linked to an API called WebRequest. Through this API, ad blockers type extensions are able to intercept page requests. In this way, it is possible to prevent the insertion of cookies in the browser and even the loading of media files. This is precisely what makes it impossible for browsers to run ads when the ad block is activated.

It turns out that with Manifest V3 this API will be replaced by the declarativeNetRequest. This API will require the extension to inform a series of rules that will be analyzed. It is from these rules that Google Chrome will decide what will be blocked and what will be displayed. To make matters worse, this new API limits the number of rules that can be avoided.

In short, Manifest V3 will greatly limit the level of performance and efficiency of ad blockers.

Source: Google via ArsTechnica and Engadget

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