Adblock Plus and (a little) more

Behind the scenes of Adblock Plus’s new Settings page · 2018-04-25 14:00 by Jeen Low

Adblock Plus does more than just block ads. But many of our users don’t know this.

One year ago we set out to change that.

eyeo, the company behind Adblock Plus, is committed to putting you in control of your online experience and we wanted to give users an easy way to not only block ads but also better understand and manage their online privacy.

Today we are happy to share our biggest update yet! With the release of Adblock Plus 3.0.3 on Chrome and Opera brings an all-new Settings page which allows users to control their online browsing even more easily.

Let’s take a deep dive into the new design.

Greater Privacy Protection

We are passionate about educating our users on the importance of privacy and data protection. Social media icons that appear in online articles, for example, track you, build a profile on you and store this information. Many users aren’t aware of this or that this can be prevented with Adblock Plus.

With the new dedicated “Privacy and Security” section, users can easily manage the different forms of tracking through simple checkboxes and clear tooltip explanations.

Acceptable Ads without third-party tracking

Acceptable Ads are respectful and follow strict criteria outlined by the Acceptable Ads Committee. Allowing these ads contribute to keeping website content free.

With the latest updates, users can further control trackers by allowing only Acceptable Ads without third-party tracking. These are ads that are only served directly by domains with the same owner as the website they’re on. Ads with limited tracking may be less relevant as a result, but we’ll leave that up to you to decide :).

Block ads in your language

Adblock Plus is a global product available in over 60 languages. With the new Settings page, users can choose to block ads in different languages via the drop-down menu even more easily. This is particularly beneficial to those of you who speak multiple languages and browse sites in those languages.

Advanced settings

For those seeking even greater control of their web browsing experience, the “Advanced” section gives Chrome users the same level of customization as before, but in a more intuitive interface.

For Firefox users, due to the Mozilla web extension overhaul back in November 2017, and the restrictions that came with it, it meant that with Adblock Plus 3.0, many features you knew and loved went missing. Our goal is to bring back these features and more with upcoming releases.

We are already working on new designs for future iterations, so this is by no means over!
We’d love to hear how you’re using Adblock Plus. Feel free to leave comments below with your thoughts, questions and insights.

Download Adblock Plus for desktop and mobile.

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Comment [11]

  1. Michael · 2018-04-25 18:07 · #

    Too little, too late! Acceptable Ads became a “backdoor” for tracking ads. ABP crew always ducked my questions about it.

    Acceptable Ads is disable on my systems, double checked if ABP app or ad on receives an update.

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Hi Michael, you are correct, the nature of all advertising, including Acceptable Ads is that they contain tracking (some tracking more invasive than others). The idea behind Acceptable Ads was to show better advertising.

    Because privacy is also important to us, we have introduced a new layer of privacy by allowing you to block tracking on Acceptable Ads. This way users who still wish to support websites through seeing some advertising, will not have their privacy compromised.

    Perhaps we could have introduced this feature earlier, but all things take time, we hope you understand!

    We value your feedback and if ever you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Thanks! – Jeen

  2. Markus · 2018-04-25 18:34 · #

    Two suggestions:
    -The Settings page ought to display somehow, somewhere, the current version number.

    -There needs to be a lot more insight provided for the user into what exactly “Block additional tracking” and “Block social media icons tracking” actually does. Are these internal functions? Or does this again “call home” to load a blacklist, if yes what and from where? Does this break site functionality, if yes how can I tell? and so on and so forth… The little question mark popups really don’t explain anything.

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Hi Markus,

    - The version number can be seen by clicking on the link “About Adblock Plus” in the bottom left corner of the Settings page.

    - For both the privacy settings you can learn more about how these features work here: https://adblockplus.org/en/features. It was tricky to fit everything into the tooltip! But we appreciate the feedback.

    - For “Block additional tracking” – this will download the EasyPrivacy filter list from https://easylist-downloads.adblockplus.org/easyprivacy.txt

    - For “Block social media icons tracking” – this will download filter list Fanboy Social List from https://easylist-downloads.adblockplus.org/fanboy-social.txt

    Hope that helps – and feel free to reach out if you have any more questions.

    Thanks!

  3. Rencer · 2018-04-29 10:19 · #

    This new settings is bad as….
    My language specific filters (which are default and it was there before this ugly, inextricable design! ALL ARE GONE!
    The whole page desing is BAD AT CORE; everything is just SPREAD away making the page inextricable!
    NOTHING fit in one page, ALWAYS have to scroll just to read ANYTHING!
    Seriously, why ALL AROUND EVERYWHERE is this annoying trend that; lets make everything inextricable by using only FRAGMENTS OF THE SCREEN?Not to mention the page just covers a TINY fragment of the whole screen! WHY DID’T USE 80% of the screen?

    Ok: SUCKS AS HELL WHAT YOU DONE! FUCK YOU!

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Hi Rencer,

    Sorry to hear your language settings were lost. If you are a Firefox user, this was an unfortunate consequence of the Mozilla update – you can read more about it here.

    The old design did not have all functions on a single page either, the difference with the new design is that we’ve made the settings on each page more explicit, with clear headlines and descriptions.

    For desktop users, there shouldn’t be any scrolling, particularly on a large screen. So I am trying to understand your criticism.

    Your feedback is important to us if you are interested we would love to invite you to provide more constructive feedback through user testing new designs, to ensure we build a product that is valuable to you.

    Thanks, Jeen

  4. Michael · 2018-05-01 00:37 · #

    Jeen Low:

    ABP plus made some changes to their Acceptable ads option within IOS Adblock Plus browser. The option to disable Acceptable ads has been replaced with “Hide Acceptable ads”.

    My friends are deeply worried, Acceptable ads is still maintaining an internet connection, while hiding the ads. ????

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Hi Michael,

    We don’t use “Hide Acceptable Ads” anywhere in our products, could you please send a screenshot to support@adblockplus.org so we can look into this issue?

    With our Acceptable Ads list, you can only enable or disable it.

    Thanks! Jeen

  5. The Fish · 2018-05-01 13:03 · #

    - Move the settings menu in the top page is better then the side.

    - Custom filters are sorted automatically which very annoying. Please reconsider that.

    - Blocked items list in the dev tools is Slow and poor and bug in Firefox.

    - We still miss ABP Element Hiding Helper.

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Thanks for the feedback!

    1. We decided on the left-hand side navigation approach as it provides the user with more vertical screen space, which is more useful for viewing lists.

    2. Custom filter sorting – Yes, we hear you, and we are currently working on updating our custom filters table to tackle this issue, amongst others.

    3. Dev tools panel is slow – we completely agree with you, this is an unfortunate consequence of the Mozilla update. We are exploring ways to resolve this.

    4. Element hiding helper – we are also working on this, so stay tuned!

  6. peter jannece · 2018-05-04 20:34 · #

    I do not understand why you have permanently banned me from the forum? Is it because I use a VPN? I cannot find anything on your website banning VPNs.

    My netbook is exceedingly slow and I wanted to find out on the forum to ask if AdBlocker slows my system down.

    And if it does how can I uninstall Adblocker on a temporary basis to find out?

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Hi Peter,

    The forum is an open space free for everyone, I’m not sure why you are not able to access it. However, if you have any problems, please contact support@adblockplus.org.

    Also, you can easily follow the instructions in the links to uninstall and reinstall the Adblock Plus extension.

    Hope this helps.

    Jeen

  7. tester · 2018-05-13 16:20 · #

    I lost all my custom filters and the manually added lists after the auto update of ABP 3.0.4

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Hi, Yes that was an unfortunate consequence of the Mozilla update when updating directly from Adblock Plus 2.8.2 (or below) to 3.0.0 (or above) – you can read more about it here. Hope this provides a bit more information.

  8. Med · 2018-05-14 08:36 · #

    Would you please adjust the width of “My filter list” textarea #custom-filters-raw

    Move the elements:
    .i18n_options_customFilters_title
    .i18n_options_customFilters_description

    Under:
    .i18n_options_customFilters_widget_title

    Screenshots:
    before: http://i.imgur.com/f6Xprex.png
    after: http://i.imgur.com/hHihHOH.png

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Hi Med,

    Thanks for the feedback, we hear you. The team are already working on improving this feature for a future release and your suggestions have been noted.

    Thanks so much again!

    Jeen

  9. tester · 2018-05-16 19:41 · #

    I lost my filter lists again after update ABP to 3.1 :-(

    Reply from Jeen Low:

    Hi, Yes that was an unfortunate consequence of the Mozilla update when updating directly from Adblock Plus 2.8.2 (or below) to 3.0.0 (or above) – you can read more about it here. Hope this provides a bit more information.

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