There’s now a way to replace ads that sit next to content with even more content.
Introducing Ad Replacer, a new ad blocker for Google Chrome browsers that replaces “obnoxious ads with awesome human curated news.” It was created by Jason Calacanis, an early investor in Uber and Tumblr who now runs the aggregation news site Inside.com.
Ad Replacer, which currently sits in second place on Product Hunt, is powered 24/7 by humans that are “hunting down and curating the only most fascinating, up-to-date news” from the BBC, CNN, The Verge and Variety, among others.
Here’s what it looks like on the New York Daily News’ website, which is usually cluttered with ads:
As you can see, it seamlessly blends into the website and is certainly a nicer alternative than junkyard ads that would typically live there. While it’s a nice idea in concept, having to peruse even more content is quite overwhelming considering that other ad blockers replace ads with harmonious white space.
Calacanis points out on Twitter that Ad Replacer is pining itself as an alternative to content recommendation boxes like Outbrain and Taboola. (The two companies haven’t yet returned Digiday’s request for comment.)
As for monetizing it, he wrote in the comments that there’s no plan as of now to do that, but in the future could ask for donations ranging from $1 to $10. Calacanis said that Ad Replacer only switches out “spammy” ads and creates a new category in the ad blocking wars with something he’s calling something better: “ad replacing.” He says it will benefit publishers because it would send the more traffic.
So far, reviews have been positive for it with users saying it “works like a charm” or complimenting the simplicity of the idea. The reviews on the extension page on Chrome’s Web Store shared a similar sentiment, but perhaps that’s skewed a bit:
Images via Ad Replacer.