Top iOS ad blocker Crystal lets advertisers pay to bypass restrictions

Posted:
in iPhone edited October 2015
Crystal -- currently the most popular ad-blocker on the iOS App Store -- is allowing advertisers who pay for the privilege to bypass the app's filters, a report said on Thursday.




The policy stems from a deal Crystal developer Dean Murphy forged with Adblock Pro creator Eyeo, the Wall Street Journal said. Eyeo does maintain an "acceptable ads" standard limiting intrusiveness, but over 70 companies, such as Google and Microsoft, have reportedly paid to skip past filters. Users can enable full ad blocking by disabling the "acceptable ads" option.

Over 700 businesses have ads that could potentially allowed through, Eyeo commented. The firm is paying Murphy a flat fee each month.

Murphy claimed to the Journal that he wants people to be able to support publishers, most of which are still dependent on ads for income.

"Given how popular Crystal has become, it doesn't provide any way for users to support publishers," he said. "I decided that's a good feature to provide, and from what I've seen the 'acceptable ads' policy doesn't let through what I'd classify as bad ads."

The app has already generated about $75,000 for Murphy, despite costing just 99 cents and having been out for a single week.

Many publishers have expressed concern about the advent of ad blockers in iOS 9. Although such blockers have been available on other platforms for years, the iOS market is large enough that losing ad access could do serious harm.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 184
    Developer gets money from both sides. Stuff that. If an ad gets through then you haven't done your job and a refund should be issued.
  • Reply 2 of 184
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    F***!!!!

    This is getting REALLY REALLY DIRTY!!

    You have people paying to block an ad and advertisers paying so the app doesn't block the ad.

    Allowing this to happen will just open the door for filthy sh** to go on.

    The is guy didn't do a thing. All he did was develop a door between ads and users.

    This sets a terrible example and I see more people taking advantage. This isn't fair to anyone. Now advertisers have an extra bill to pay. A bill that didn't exist a week ago.

    Heck I think I might just develop an ad blocking app and wait for advertisers to bring me money.
  • Reply 3 of 184
    Doesn't letting the likes of Google and many other companies by pass the ad blocker rather defeat the purpose of the app? Why would anyone bother with it now?
  • Reply 4 of 184
    There is no way to win.
  • Reply 5 of 184
    Time for me to change the rating to 1 star for crystal.
  • Reply 6 of 184
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,445member

    The ‘everything should be free’ on the Internet bozo crowd is getting more than it asked for. It’s hilarious to see them posting here and elsewhere about how they block everything and have this nirvana-like Internet experience now. Oh wait... advertisers are still getting to them and their web viewing habits. Talk about an arms race, and it’s just getting started.

  • Reply 7 of 184
    So what's the point of an ad blocker? increase the cost of advertising? There must be something else here.
  • Reply 8 of 184
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,445member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post



    There is no way to win.



    You have to pay for content one way or the other. That’s how it works. Nothing is free on this Earth.

  • Reply 8 of 184
    How about adding a whitelist like Blockr? I allowed sites that use The Deck to send me ads because they're actually relevant and I care about the content and owners.
  • Reply 10 of 184
    Most popular in the US maybe. Here it is Blockr.

    Getadblock has a good reputation for Safari user on the mac. Its available for iOS too.
    Just saying.
  • Reply 11 of 184
    lkrupp wrote: »
    The ‘everything should be free’ on the Internet bozo crowd is getting more than it asked for. It’s hilarious to see them posting here and elsewhere about how they block everything and have this nirvana-like Internet experience now. Oh wait... advertisers are still getting to them and their web viewing habits. Talk about an arms race, and it’s just getting started.

    It's not that we think it should be free, it's that ad companies are completely out of control. There needs to be a removal of garbage.
  • Reply 12 of 184

    The guy doesn't mention any of this in the app's website and FAQ. In fact, in the FAQ one question is "I've installed Crystal and adverts still load, what gives?" Again, he doesn't mention some advertisers may have paid to get through the blocking. I smell something bad.

  • Reply 13 of 184
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,321member
    Disappointed to hear this, I want the ability to whitelist sites and ad networks myself.

    I certainly don't want Google or anyone else paying to keep tracking me.

    I'll have to look elsewhere, I've heard 1blocker offers what I need so was looking to move apps anyway.
  • Reply 14 of 184
    Quote:

    The ‘everything should be free’ on the Internet bozo crowd is getting more than it asked for.


     

    Crystal is not a free app. When you pay for something, it should act as described. The developer mentions nowhere, until now in this interview, that you were paying to expect ad blocking and only actually getting some/most ad blocking.



    As for the ethics of ad blocking itself, that is a different topic than what this article is covering.

  • Reply 15 of 184
    Well. I'm glad Crystal cost me only 99 cents. The ad blocker that doesn't block ads. Will be looking for a replacement. Good to know this information.
  • Reply 16 of 184
    john.bjohn.b Posts: 2,740member

    Yeah, this will be the first one-star content blocker in the App Store by tomorrow morning.  The developer clearly doesn't understand they are selling "trust".

  • Reply 17 of 184
    I too am very disappointed and am going to delete the app from my iOS devices in protest. Murphy owes me 99 cents man.

    Let us all trash the app with 1 ??/???? reviews!
  • Reply 18 of 184
    Developer gets money from both sides. Stuff that. If an ad gets through then you haven't done your job and a refund should be issued.

    This.

    I pay you to block my ads. And you take money from someone to force the same ads upon me that I paid you to stop.

    That's criminal.

    Apple needs to ban such developers from the App Store.

    A 6 month ban for the first infraction sounds fair.

    This is the kind be of thing you see in the android or MS ecosystem. Not Apple.

    Leave it to pieces of crap like this guy to get that going here.
  • Reply 19 of 184
    How about adding a whitelist like Blockr? I allowed sites that use The Deck to send me ads because they're actually relevant and I care about the content and owners.

    Simple, fair, and most of all, gives the choice to YOU.
  • Reply 20 of 184

    HAHAHA! Begun, this ad war, has.

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