In a controversial move, Yahoo is preventing some people from accessing their email if they are using ad-blocking software in their browser.
The news broke as some users in the US reported that Yahoo Mail was displaying a message asking them to disable their ad-blocker before they could access their inbox.
Yahoo confirmed this was the case, saying that it was testing a “new product experience” in the US.
Members of one ad-blocking forum said they had already managed to circumvent the restriction.
The reports, first spotted by Digiday, surfaced in the AdBlock Plus forums on Thursday. Andrei Herasimchuk, a former Yahoo designer who now works at Twitter, also claims to be blocked from his inbox.
Ad blocking has grown in popularity this year, with Apple allowing the software on iOS for the first time.
In the UK, nearly one fifth (18%) of adults online are currently using ad blocking software, signalling a rise from 15% in early June, according to IAB data.
The latest wave of the Internet Advertising Bureau UK’s Ad Blocking Report, conducted online by YouGov, reveals that Ad blocking is more prevalent among men surveyed (23%) than women (13%) and the propensity to block ads decreases with age – from 35% of 18-24 year olds to 13% of people 55+.
Some analysts have expressed concerns that the rise of ad blockers could result in the entire business model of the internet collapsing and free content becoming a thing of the past.
A number of companies created apps that defeat ad blockers, with Google’s Chrome bypassing ad blockers to serve ads streamed on YouTube. How far Yahoo will take its latest experiment remains to be seen.