Chrome will soon limit some ads to protect battery life and data

Brittany A. Roston - May 14, 2020, 6:03pm CDT
Chrome will soon limit some ads to protect battery life and data

Google has announced plans to start limiting the amount of resources ads can use before the user interacts with them, something that will crackdown on the small percentage of poorly optimizing or otherwise problematic advertisements that use up data and drain battery life. Under this change, users will see some ads that show an error page after a short period of time.

According to Google, only a ‘fraction of a percent’ of advertisements are designed in such a way that they will, if allowed, consume an atypical amount of device resources, which could mean using too much of your precious high-speed mobile data and/or causing your device’s battery to die sooner.

Some of these ads are malicious, such as ones that covertly mine cryptocurrencies, while others are simply unoptimized and poorly programmed. The user isn’t aware of these resource hogs, meaning they may not realize what ads are causing them issues. That’s where the new Google Chrome feature comes in.

Google says that Chrome will start limiting how many resources these ads can use — and once an ad hits its limit, it will revert to showing an error page with an X in the middle and an explanation about why users are seeing the error (that it was using too many device resources).

The browser is only targeting ads that use more network bandwidth or CPU than 99.9-percent of other advertisements, which amounts to a threshold of 15 seconds of CPU usage in 30 seconds and 4MB of network data. Google says that around 0.3-percent of ads exceed this threshold, but that they account for 28-percent of all CPU usage, as well as 27-percent of ad data usage.

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