Does Using Ad Blockers Make YouTube Loading Slow?

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YouTube’s war against ad-blockers has been going on for quite some time, with Team Red trying to force users into paying for its premium membership. However, last week, multiple Firefox users with ad blockers started experiencing a noticeable lag in YouTube’s response times, leading many to speculate that it might have been intentional. Now, YouTube has confirmed it is implementing a 5-second loading delay, specifically targeting users utilizing ad blockers.

Need for a loading delay?

This extreme measure is the result of people discovering ways to bypass the limitations. This is because even after restricting ad blockers, some users started using Chrome’s “Do Not Track” feature, which stopped platforms like YouTube from identifying active ad blockers, while others switched to browsers like Firefox to evade YouTube’s restrictions. Moreover, even popular ad blockers developed patches to circumvent these measures.

However, after reports of multiple users experiencing 5-second load times raised suspicions, YouTube spokesperson Christopher Lawton confirmed that this delay is not related to browsers but stems from YouTube’s efforts to counteract ad-blocking software. However, it is important to note that disabling ad blockers could solve the issue, although a temporary delay might still occur until the browser is refreshed.

“Users who have ad blockers installed may experience suboptimal viewing, regardless of the browser they are using,” said Lawton.

YouTube’s crackdown on Ad blockers

The saga began in June when YouTube started giving ad blocker users an ultimatum: disable the ad blocker or forego access to content. The rationale behind this decision? YouTube argued that ad revenue stands as a primary income source for content creators, and the fact that nearly 1 in 5 users use ad blockers meant they were losing a significant portion of their revenue.

Although this stance gathered widespread criticism from people, it did work since users not only uninstalled ad blockers but also subscribed to YouTube Premium, significantly boosting the company’s profits. Moreover, Google’s upcoming Manifest V3 Chrome API could make things even more difficult since it essentially mandates ad blockers to limit the number of filter lists available to users. 

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