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Ad blocking on mobile browsers nearly doubled last year, report finds

At least 419 million people - that's 22 percent of the world's smartphone users - are blocking mobile ads.
stephanie-condon
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer on

At least 419 million people -- that's 22 percent of the world's smartphone users -- are blocking mobile ads, according to a report from Pagefair and the firm Priori Data.

More specifically, the use of ad-blocking browsers -- the most common way for smartphone users to block ads -- soared by 90 percent from January 2015 to January 2016. By March of this year, 408 million people were using ad-blocking browsers.

Mobile ad-blocking is much more popular in emerging markets, the report finds -- as many as 36 percent of smartphone users in the Asia-Pacific region. The report identified 45 different ad-blocking browsers for iOS and Android, though the Alibaba-owned UC Browser has more users than all others combined.

Apple started supporting content blocking in iOS in September of last year, but no more than 2 percent of U.S. iPhone users are using a content-blocking app, the report says. There are as many as 229 different content blocking iOS apps, with 4.5 million downloads -- just 1.9 million in the United States.

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