Google is working on a new feature for its Chrome browser which will block adverts that use too much network bandwidth or processing power.
The company said in a blog post that there is a small percentage of adverts on the Internet which consume a heavy amount of resources without the user being aware of the increased load.
These include cryptojacking scripts hosted on various website, which use the visitor’s CPU power to mine cryptocurrency for the website owner.
“We have recently discovered that a fraction of a percent of ads consume a disproportionate share of device resources, such as battery and network data, without the user knowing about it,” Google said.
“These ads (such as those that mine cryptocurrency, are poorly programmed, or are unoptimized for network usage) can drain battery life, saturate already strained networks, and cost money.”
“In order to save our users’ batteries and data plans, and provide them with a good experience on the web, Chrome will limit the resources a display ad can use before the user interacts with the ad.”
When an advert reaches the limit defined by Google for resource consumption, it will be replaced with a notice that informs the user it has been disabled for using too many resources.
Google said this functionality targets adverts which use 4MB of network data or 15 seconds of CPU usage in any 30-second period, or 60 seconds of total CPU usage.
“While only 0.3% of ads exceed this threshold today, they account for 27% of network data used by ads and 28% of all ad CPU usage,” Google said.
The company said that it will experiment with this feature over the next several months, and will launch it to the stable branch of the Chrome browser near the end of August 2020.
“Our intent with this extended rollout is to give appropriate time for ad creators and tool providers to prepare and incorporate these thresholds into their workflows,” Google said.
“With these changes, Chrome is continuing to help ensure that people have good browsing experiences both on the screen and behind the scenes.”
The percentage of adverts classified as “heavy” by Google and the proportion of total network data and CPU usage consumed by these ads is detailed below.