FYI: Forbes no longer allows you to view their site if you have an ad blocker on.

almost 2 years ago from , Product Designer, rankup.io

I tried visiting this http://www.forbes.com/sites/tomaslaurinavicius/2015/12/28/web-design-trends-2016/ and they completely deny access to their site. I really hope this isn't a trend that sticks.

22 comments

  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, almost 2 years ago

    you're not missing much.

    33 points
    • Matt Williams, almost 2 years ago

      My day definitely was not ruined due to the block.

      7 points
    • Ethan BondEthan Bond, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

      Yet.

      It worked for me anyways (uBlock Origin), but we* really should be having a discussion about the direction of things re: ads, ad blockers, and the health of the web.

      To move forward on the "I really hope this isn't a trend that sticks..."

      It's an arms race whose first victims are end users. Users are getting better at blocking (or cognitively ignoring) ads, so the obvious solution is to make them more demanding of your attention. The problems with this are twofold:

      1) A product has some saturation point where the proportion of ads:content renders a product unusable. This will become a problem for designers first, but for many companies there's no foreseeable "we're not adding more ads." If you have to make more money then you have to make more money. Eventually that saturation and resulting quality degradation will become the CFO's problem. Before either of those people, of course, the user has to deal with previously awesome services devolving into digital coupon books (looking at you, Facebook).

      2) The burden placed on browsers, Internet infrastructure, and users' attention spans will do nothing but go up. The large ad networks are already highly optimized, but a basic ad blocker still results in a perceptible increase in performance. Serving banner ads is nothing when you're looking at a photo gallery, but now Google is having to serve 30 second video ads in front of 30 second videos. The absolute cost of that ad is negligible, but it doubled the costs of serving and consuming that content (save for server-side optimizations like CDNs).

      The ads arms race has already been happening on TV, but the consumers were always terribly ill equipped to mount a counterattack. More importantly, the conventional media companies never had to justify absurd valuations which outpaced their profitability at 100x factors. Google and Facebook are literally running out of people to show ads to – thus both having "charity projects" to bring underdeveloped nations online.

      We* really do need to figure out a way to pay for content and services that doesn't put users fundamentally at odds with the people providing it.

      * I'm not sure who "we" should be, but designers should be a part of the conversation early on, lest we find the web in a state that is so locked down/constrained by ads that we're stifled.

      10 points
  • Martin LeeMartin Lee, almost 2 years ago

    Some things are worth disabling your adblocker for. This isn't one of them...

    17 points
  • Tim Deneau, almost 2 years ago

    For this outstanding “2 page” article we’ve got:

    1 fullpage ad

    12 banner ads

    16 clickbait ads

    6 points
  • Andrew ConnAndrew Conn, almost 2 years ago

    Works on Safari iOS with Adblockers running. I would think they're running an A/B test to see abandonment rates. Publishers have limited choices for business models - ad supported, subscription, or run into the arms of Facebook - so they have to try something. Here's the tricky thing for them... If they block me from viewing the site with an ad blocker I just won't go there and if it's a subscription site I won't go there, and if their publishing medium becomes Facebook I won't go there. I imagine a lot of their readership feels similarly.

    6 points
  • Alec LomasAlec Lomas, almost 2 years ago

    I understand why Forbes is doing this, but I think there could be a way to vastly improve the experience. Why not do something like the Times does with their paywall? Show the first paragraph or 1000 characters and then show a 'Disable Ad Blocker to Continue' modal/banner/button? Then the user could decide whether the link they clicked on truly has value before putting more effort in.

    Then again, this is "We Have a Pointless and Annoying Interstitial" Forbes, so...

    4 points
  • Per VPer V, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

    Turn off your ad blocker and click continue, once you're in you can turn on the ad blocker again.

    4 points
  • Erik BeesonErik Beeson, almost 2 years ago

    I noticed this the other day. Their headline was just barely strong enough to get me to click over to their site, but bitching about uBlock Origin was all the motivation I needed to close the tab without giving it another thought.

    Perhaps the next generation of Ad Blocking will be to remove links to sites that withhold content like this. If you don't want my traffic, you won't get it.

    2 points
  • Cristian MoiseiCristian Moisei, almost 2 years ago

    I noticed this too a few days ago and I don't think many people will accept such a heavy handed approach, especially when it comes to an ad heavy site with low quality content like Forbes (try Bloomberg instead).

    Also, people are already starting to figure out how to go around this.

    1 point
  • Maneesh ChibaManeesh Chiba, almost 2 years ago

    I'm using Adblock and didn't have any issue loading up the site or browsing around. Perhaps they targeting a specific set of scripts to deny access?

    1 point
  • Ryan FooteRyan Foote, almost 2 years ago

    I'm not having an issue visiting Forbes with an ad blocker enabled but it seems to be an ongoing war between both sides. If you want to get around the restriction check out https://github.com/reek/anti-adblock-killer

    1 point
  • Özgür ÖzerÖzgür Özer, almost 2 years ago (edited almost 2 years ago )

    You can install Stylish extension on your browser(Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera). And you can simply add CSS codes for parts of web pages where you don't want to see like header,#adArea{display:none;}

    1 point
  • Mahdi Al-FarraMahdi Al-Farra, almost 2 years ago

    That's good, opening any of their links and having to see the stupid full page ad before the content is just awful. I don't think anyone will miss anything.

    0 points
  • Benjamin RogersBenjamin Rogers, almost 2 years ago

    Sadly, I think this is a trend we will see for a bit. I get it though... they need to generate revenue somehow. People crave quality writing, but seem to have a weird issue about paying a subscription online for it. Thus, ads pay the bills/salaries. It's a spiral... less ad revenue means shittier/sensational content in the attempt to drive more views. I like what some online pubs are doing where you can see X amount of stories a month free and THEN you hit a paywall. I like the idea behind generating quality content and pulling in paying customers... while supporting it with a more subtle and reserved ad structure.

    I think if some of these pubs can get to the $5/month mark, its a sweet-spot... but to do that and pay staff... they would need a significant readership. I do believe though that they best stuff is almost always behind a subscription. I pay nearly $30/month for the WSJ... but it's content is clearly worth it and more compared to most anything else. Pando intrigues me more and more... I'll probably bite soon.

    0 points
  • Mo BaghdadiMo Baghdadi, almost 2 years ago

    Yup, noticed too. At first I kept refreshing then I realised what was going on. I closed the tab, their loss.

    0 points
  • Brian Howe, almost 2 years ago

    Not having trouble with uBlock Origin.

    0 points
  • Alex Costa, 5 months ago

    I honestly find it hilarious that after you disable your ad blocker they tell you to enjoy an ad-light experience for 30 days. All I can see on the page is ads (mainly)... Somewhere in a corner is the story that I want to read. Anyhow, it wouldn't actually surprise me that this trend would stick. It is not the first time that I am blocked out of content for using an ad blocker...

    It seams that most companies actually forget that the internet community is used to have things for free. The Internet was invented so that people could share resources and content or information, for free, so a thing that is free from the start shouldn't suddenly become paid, but that is just my own opinion.

    0 points