After just two days — and rocketing to the top of Apple’s App Store — the ad-blocking Peace app has been pulled; by the developer who created it.
Marco Arment, who developed Peace along with Ghostery, said on his personal blog today that despite the app’s immediate popularity, blocking all Internet ads across the board “just doesn’t feel right”.
Arment goes on to say that while ad-blockers do benefit people in a variety of ways, the all-encompassing Peace app also blocked ads on websites and blogs, “including many that don’t deserve the hit”.
Much of the content online that people can access at no charge is made possible through revenues from advertising. Since Apple’s iOS 9 began allowing content blockers — including the Peace app — ad-blocking has once again become a hot-button issue. Publishers are, understandably, worried that ad-blockers on iPhones and iPads will eventually lead to a reduction in revenue; a concern that becomes even more realistic as Internet traffic continues to sway towards mobile devices.
Ad-blocking apps like Peace do not block in-app advertising (to Apple’s benefit, as they continue to sell ads through iAd), and don’t work on other mobile browsers, such as Google Chrome. The former fact has led to speculation that Apple has backed-off on disallowing content blocking applications in order to hurt Google revenue, while putting a premium on their own iAd advertising.
Though the Peace app is now gone from Apple’s App Store, as of this evening, two other ad-blocking tools — Crystal & Purify Blocker — remain at the top of Paid charts. Chart rank is not simply based on downloads or revenue; however, Apple has never divulged the algorithm it uses to rank App Store apps.
You can read Peace app developer Marco Arment’s complete blog post on his decision to pull it from the App Store here.