YouTube has denied that recent reports of slow loading speeds are related to its reported ad blocker detection efforts.
A number of technology sites had reported that YouTube users had been experiencing significant drops in page loading speeds if they were using an ad blocker.
YouTube views using an ad blocker as a violation of its terms of service and has recently been taking action to discourage the tech’s use. First, users will be greeted with a pop-up message that reads, “Ad blockers violate YouTube’s Term of Service”. Then, the message suggests that users turn off the ad blocker and are unable to continue watching without doing so.
The technology sites have now said that, if the first effort is unsuccessful, YouTube is artificially slowing its page load speed to make the experience unbearable for users with ad block. Citing posts on Reddit, 9to5Google said that YouTube was “laggy and unresponsive, seemingly all of a sudden” but disabling ad-blocking tools restores normal service.
“We tested this theory ourselves, and sure enough, YouTube looks sickly whenever an ad blocker is enabled. Videos buffer incredibly slow, previews refuse to load properly, and entering theatre mode or fullscreen is impossible without refreshing the website,” wrote 9to5Google’s Andrew Romero.
“This is mostly due to an artificial timeout written within YouTube’s code to act as a laggy internet connection. While this action taken by YouTube isn’t brand-new, more users are starting to see the tactic in use”.
YouTube, however, has denied this is the case, with a spokesperson telling B&T: “Recent reports of users experiencing loading delays on YouTube are unrelated to our ad blocker detection efforts. Our help centre offers troubleshooting tips for users experiencing issues”.
Clearly, both 9to5Google and YouTube cannot both be correct in their assessment of events.
YouTube has been on a mission to ramp up its ad block detection efforts and now offers users the chance at a completely ad-free experience with YouTube Premium. According to the Social Shepherd, there are only 26.7 million YouTube Premium subscribers. Considering that YouTube is estimated to have 2.7 billion monthly active users, advertising would be far more lucrative for the firm.