Google removes AdBlock Plus app from Play Store

Monday, March 18, 2013

Google has removed AdBlock Plus, an app that lets users block advertisements while browsing the web, in addition to other similar apps such as AdAway, from the Play Store.

In an e-mail to the developers of AdBlock Plus, Google has said that it found the app to be violating section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement as the app interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner. It has instructed the developers to revise and upload a new instance of the application that is compliant with the developer terms.

We were not able to locate the app in the Play Store, at the time of writing this post.

"We realize that advertising revenue is important to Google, but understand that Adblock Plus does not automatically block all ads; we simply allow users the choice whether to block ads or whitelist them," said AdBlock Plus co-founder Till Faida, in a statement. Close to 1 million users have downloaded AdBlock Plus since November 2012, according to the company.

This doesn't really come as a surprise as Google had started blocking AdBlock Plus on Android 4.1.2 and 4.2.2 devices instead showing a warning box telling users to manually configure a proxy server. The AdBlock Plus team had even offered a work around through which users could manually set-up a proxy. The AdBlock Plus app routes web traffic through a server that runs on the smartphone filtering out advertisements before the browser renders them.

For Google and other ad networks, advertising is a major source of revenue, so it's more likely to restrict apps that offer ad-blocking functionality (NDTV).