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YouTube clarifies delay issue: It’s about ad blockers, not browsers

YouTube clarifies that the recent five-second delay issue is linked to ad blockers, not browsers, as part of its ongoing strategy against ad-blocking software.

Recent discussions on Reddit and Hacker News have brought to light a five-second delay issue on YouTube. This delay occurs before video pages load in Mozilla's Firefox and occasionally other browsers. YouTube has addressed these claims, stating the delay is not browser-specific but a part of its strategy against ad blockers.

Ad blockers trigger YouTube's delay

Christopher Lawton, YouTube's communications manager, communicated via email that the delay experienced by users with ad blockers is a browser-agnostic issue. Disabling the ad blocker should fix the problem, though a temporary delay might occur until the browser refreshes. This move is part of YouTube's ongoing effort to improve its ad-blocker detection methods.

Not limited to Firefox

Initially, Firefox users seemed exclusively affected, but reports indicate that Chrome and Edge users have encountered similar issues. Investigations into the code responsible for the delay show no signs of browser-specific targeting. Damiano DeMonte, Mozilla's senior brand manager, confirmed that there's no evidence of this being a Firefox-exclusive problem.

The broader context: YouTube and ad blockers

YouTube's crackdown on ad blockers has been increasingly evident. The platform began disabling videos for users with ad blockers in June. Last month, YouTube announced a global initiative urging users to enable ads or subscribe to its US$13.99/month ad-free Premium service. Lawton emphasised the importance of ads as a “vital lifeline for creators.”

Google, too, has been active on this front. Last week, it announced significant changes to Chrome that impact uBlock Origin, a popular ad-blocking extension. This reflects an ongoing battle between independent developers and corporations over ad display on the internet, with Google now taking a firmer stance against ad blockers.

Implications and future developments

YouTube's current situation highlights the delicate balance between user experience and revenue generation. As the platform evolves its ad-blocker detection methods, users and developers alike may need to adapt to changing dynamics in how is accessed and monetised online.

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Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia
Nurin Sofia is a news editor at Tech Edition. Her interest is in technology and startups, occasionally crunching news for gaming. Sofia enjoys playing video games, going on bike rides, and gardening when she isn't behind a keyboard.

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