Apple follows Google’s lead with its own ad blocker for Safari

Out with the old and in with the new.
Image: Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Online advertisers bewareApple is coming for you.

The company announced on Monday that a new update to its Safari web browser will block autoplay videos.

The update will also feature a new security feature that stops ad tracking technology from watching where users go on the web.

The announcement comes the week after Google confirmed that it would add its own in-browser filter to Chrome that would shut out ads deemed intrusive or annoying.

Apple, which has less to lose by hammering advertising companies, takes this mandate one step further.

Apple previously made waves in the advertising and media industry when it started allowing third-party ad blockers into its mobile Safari browser. Unlike the latest update, though, that setting was not the default, and ultimately resulted in less impact than had been predicted.

Safari still only commands about a quarter of the market share of Chrome, according to StatCounter’s most recent data, though a hardline stance on annoying autoplay videos could help persuade some users to give it a shot.

Advertisers and media companies, who’ve spent years locked in a fierce battle with ad blocking companies, are generally wary about browsers bundling in the service.

While, on the one hand, it has the potential to shut out the bad actors that taint the rest of the industry and drive people to blockers in the first place, it also gives certain companies inordinate amounts of power and, especially in Apple’s case, threatens their own bottom lines.

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