Google has confirmed that it will implement changes to the Chrome API used to block ads, including the Chromium open source version. Opera, Vivaldi and Brave are based on this open-source project but guarantee that they will fully support ad blockers, whether native or third-party.
To recap: Chrome will replace an API used by extensions that block specific page content. The new API will have larger limits on how many items can be blocked; in addition, the developer will have to submit their blocking filter list to Google.
This will be part of Manifest V3, a new version of the browser extensions platform that will be deployed in early 2020. Meanwhile, the old API used by ad blockers will only be available to corporate Chrome users, not the general public.
Opera, Vivaldi and Brave to keep API for ad blockers
These changes will also affect Chromium, the open source version of Chrome used as the basis for other browsers, including the new Microsoft Edge. Even so, ad blockers will remain safe in Opera, Vivaldi and Brave.
“We can consider keeping these APIs up and running, even if Chrome does not,” an Opera spokesperson tells ZDNet. However, the company points out that this will not be a problem because the browser comes with a native ads blocker, both on the PC and on the mobile: “This means that Opera users are not really exposed to these changes.”
Petter Nilsen, a senior developer at Vivaldi, explains in an official blog that he will handle the API change depending on how Google implements it: “There are many, many possible scenarios and API restoration may be one of them; we’ve restored features before … whatever restrictions Google may have, we can remove them. ”
“The code will be all there, we can bring it back”
And Brendan Eich, CEO of Brave Software, promises to keep the API used by ad blockers: “We will continue to support webRequest for all Brave extensions,” he tells ZDNet. The executive also remembers that the browser has a native ad blocker.
On Twitter, Eich explains that the old “ad blockers API” will not be removed, just hidden from non-business Chrome extensions. The C ++ code will be all there, so we can bring it back to the fore, and let’s do it. ”
Microsoft has yet to speak on the subject. The company has already made a number of modifications to Chromium by removing and adding features to create the new Edge, so it may hold old APIs to block ads.
One way or another, the changes in Chrome should have a huge impact. The Google browser dominates 69% of the market, according to StatCounter, against 10% of Firefox, 2.3% of Opera and 0.05% of Vivaldi; the Brave does not appear in the statistics.