Ads on mobile news sites can be ugly and annoying. Just look at these examples.

Display Ad on Indian Express Display ad on Business Standard

With iOS 9 and a recent enough iPhone you can install ad blockers. I expect that a similar solution is available for Android. I have no idea about Windows phone users.

However, many sites now detect ad blockers and prevent you from accessing the content. The New York Times’ CEO thinks that’s the way to go. However, there is another solution. There’s a news aggregation app called SmartNews which displays the mobile versions of articles from participating publishers. However, it also offers a “smart” view option, which is meant for phones with slow data connections. Smart view strips the page down to just the text. Once the article loads in the SmartNews app, touch the “Smart” tab, and just like that, you have a news article without ads. Gone also are the other visual clutter, like social networking buttons, and images! While for many news stories images don’t offer any extra information, you may want to see them for articles on sports, entertainment, fashion, etc. The best part is that by just touching the “Web” tab, you can see the images again.

Here is a Vox article with ads, with an ad blocker and rendered as a “Smart” page by SmartNews.

Page with ads Page with ad blocker on SmartNews “smart” page
Vox page with ads IMG_9195 IMG_9194

SmartNews lets you set up your own “channels”, which look like tabs along the top, which can be just single Web sites. Thus, as long as the publications you want have joined the platform, you can experience them ad free. SmartNews app with channels

You can follow me on Twitter, I am @SKisContent.

Leave a Reply