The internet, also known as the world wide web, was invented in the year 1990. Skip a decade and a bit forward and everyone has a tiny computer in their back pocket, connected to the internet of course. Where there is internet, there are advertisements, meaning we are confronted with advertisements every time we open our tiny pocket computers. Advertisement as we know it has its perks, but definitely has its cons as well. On one hand, personalised advertisements, as the name suggests, offers an alternative to a clutter of non-relevant ads. On the other hand there is the invasion of our privacy and the danger of the data selling industry that poses a threat to modern day democracy. Cambridge Analytica anyone?
However, might we see the end of online advertising? Mozilla and start-up Creative Commons do think so. The two partnered up to break the status-quo and reshape the internet landscape, as they plan to create an internet browser without ads.
The two companies want to create an ad-free internet browser by implementing a new source of revenue, micropayments. Consumers will have to pay small, set, fees to use the ad-free internet. Although this does sound like a good alternative to “selling our data”, would this new internet be used, and paid for, by the masses?
Aside from that, an ad free browser is not going to stop companies such as Facebook to stop selling our information, so this alternative won’t protect people one hundred percent against data-trafficking. However, there definitely will be a dent in the data market because of the lack of sales that can be made to advertisers.
The big question is, are people willing to pay to keep only a portion of their data to themselves?
What could the future hold in store for us when ad-free internet becomes the norm? This new type of browser would offer smaller platforms, creators and websites an opportunity to thrive. Through the use of micropayments and a division of grants dependent on the user’s time spent on the website, smaller platforms wouldn’t have to rely on an ad or two for almost non-existent revenue. Instead, the platforms will be paid according to how much people are actually using their service, creating an even playing field for all.
One final question remains though. How are you going to advertise an ad-free service?