Peace has now become the number one paid application in the US, less than a day after its launch.
The $2.99 ad-blocking application was created by former Tumblr engineer Marco Arment and currently sits at first place in the iOS paid apps. A similar application called Purify, which was created by developer Chris Aljoudi, is in fourth place. A third application called Blockr is positioned at number 28.
These applications once activated, strip ads and tracking cookies out of the Safari browser on iPhones.
The rise of adblocking has proved concerning for web publishers, many of which rely largely or exclusively on advert revenue. The popularity of the applications suggests that adblocking software could become even more widespread than it is on desktop. A report published in 2014 suggested that almost 150 million desktop browsers were using some form of adblocker.
Four major broadcasters in Germany have previously tried and failed to win in court against Eyeo, which makes one of the largest adblockers: AdBlock plus. Publishers are arguing that blocking display adverts hurts their business and is unethical as it enables users to view content without paying the price of an ad impression.
Peace is Arment’s first application where ad blocking is the primary focus and he has previously addressed these ethical concerns, stating: “We shouldn’t feel guilty about this,” he said in the app’s launch announcement. “The ‘implied contract’ theory that we’ve agreed to view ads in exchange for free content is void because we can’t review the terms first — as soon as we follow a link, our browsers load, execute, transfer, and track everything embedded by the publisher. Our data, battery life, time, and privacy are taken by a blank check with no recourse.”