Picture this, you want to watch a movie at the theatre and you got everything ready. Your date, your popcorn, and then the trailers start playing. It’s all good until you realize that it’s already been an hour and the movie hasn’t started yet. Could you imagine having to watch hours of trailers before you get to see what you want? Doesn’t that sound like a nightmare?
Well, that’s how pop-up ads feel when you try to access your favorite content on the internet. They appear without permission and take control of your screen until you can finally close them down.
But how did they start to become a thing? Last week we began to explore the history and evolution of the first internet ads. Today it’s time to take a look at the rise of pop-ups.
If you want to catch up on our previous article of the series, click here: https://medium.com/online-io-blockchain-technologies/the-evolution-of-internet-ads-how-did-they-start-1ded45285cee
Now buckle up and let’s go back to 1997, the year when these annoying intruders began their antics.
The Origin of Pop-Ups
It’s no secret that the average internet user hates pop-ups, but despite their irritating nature, did you know that they were actually created with good intentions in mind?
Who’s the man behind the terror? His name is Ethan Zuckerman, who back in 1997 was a developer for Tripod.com. He is credited with creating the code that enables pop-ups to open up a new browser window.
Before you go write him a hate letter, hear us out. He never imagined what his creation could turn into, and he has actually apologized for it. Zuckerman stated that the real reason behind his code was the following.
“It was a way to associate an ad with a user’s page without putting it directly on the page, which advertisers worried would imply an association between their brand and the page’s content.” (Ethan Zuckerman)
It seemed like a good idea at first. But like many good ideas, it got out of hand. Advertisers took advantage of this code to capture the attention of unsuspecting users, forcing them to see their ads.
They were more effective than the usual static banner ads at the time. However, their intrusive nature proved to be too much for everyone.
As a result, by the early 2000s, a lot of pop-up blockers appeared and it became a standard for most quality websites to incorporate these blocking features.
So where are pop-ups today? They are still alive in some websites. Some are harmless and others offer you the chance to win thousands of dollars, but the only thing you’ll actually win is a virus.
If you still get annoyed by pop-ups, the best way to fix that is with ad-blocking software. Lucky for you we got the most complete solution: Online.io. We got you covered against ads, malware, and tracking software. The whole package!
You can try our demo version for Google Chrome right here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/onlineio-cyber-security-p/pkhboldlpfikllgljcmijlpcgonkojhn
Let’s keep discovering more about the evolution of Internet Ads. Come back next week when we cover the next chapter on the series: Targeted Advertisements.
We’ll take a look at their history and what they mean for our privacy. Stay tuned!