The Internet is full of ominous headlines like “This is the end of AdBlock”, “We can no longer block ads” and the like. Such conclusions are made due to the fact that soon Google will introduce new rules that all developers of web browser extensions will have to follow. But this does not mean at all that blockers will stop working and advertising on the Internet will come out of all the cracks.
Fact: Google will stop supporting old browser extensions
Last year, Google announced plans to phase out Chromium-based browser extensions based on a developer policy known collectively as Manifest V2 . This decision immediately drew criticism from the creators of popular extensions. However, now the media have begun to actively instill fear in those who use plugins like AdBlock or uBlock on a daily basis, claiming that in a few months they will become worthless. It is not true. Let’s explain why.
Google, which develops Chromium, on which most modern web browsers such as Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Brave are based, has announced that plugins written according to Manifest V2 recommendations will indeed stop working after the transition to Manifest V3 is completed. The introduction of the latter is carefully planned, and was originally expected to occur in January 2023.
However, recently in a special message, Google explained that the timing of the transition from Manifest V2 to Manifest V3 has changed. Old extensions written under V2 will not be canceled with a snap of the fingers. They will be available in the Chrome Store until January 2024.
False: we are waiting for the Internet without AdBlock and other ad blockers
In the future, if developers don’t make any changes to their extensions, they may indeed disappear from Chromium-based browsers. But the creators of popular extensions have already begun work on adapting plugins to Manifest V3. AdGuard owners have released the first experimental version of the blocker based on the principles of Manifest V3. And although its capabilities are somewhat limited compared to the official version currently in use, this proves that ad blockers will easily survive the transition to Manifest V3. AdBlock or uBlock will probably follow the same path.
Also, not all browsers will blindly follow Chromium’s changes. For example, the creators of Brave state that once Manifest V3 goes live, they intend to ensure that all Manifest V2-based extensions work. Also, you should keep in mind that not every web browser currently runs on the Chromium engine. For example, the popular Firefox does not care about the above changes at all, because it is based on the Quantum engine.
In general, no need to ring the bells. Changes to Chromium-based browsers will be slow and we won’t lose access to our favorite extensions – contrary to what the clickbait headlines on the web are trying to convey.