Opera introduces native ad blocking: what advertisers & publishers need to know

While the debate around ad blocking continues, Opera has decided to build a native ad blocker that ships with its browser.

The company announced that it’s “the first major browser vendor to integrate an ad-blocking feature” and the reason won’t come as a surprise.

It looked at the stats, which show that a growing number of consumers want ad blockers to protect them from bloated web pages, poor browsing experiences and unwanted tracking.

Microsoft may make WebRTC a part of Skype’s future

In the next couple of years, firing up a phone call or video chat with a friend on the opposite side of the world may not require you to launch Skype, Google Chat or one of the many programs that let individuals connect over the internet. Instead, you’ll be able to communicate with voice and video using nothing more than your web browser.

If and when that day comes, you’ll thank technologies WebRTC, which enable real-time communication between browsers. Originally developed by Google and currently supported only in development builds of Google’s Chrome browser, companies like VOIP provider Voxeo are demonstrating WebRTC’s nifty capabilities and providing a preview of what the future might look like for web-based communication.

Opera study highlights country-specific user behaviour

Opera Software has released its latest State of the Mobile Web report, which is based on anonymous and aggregated data from the servers of Opera Mini, its mobile web browser.

As part of this, the company has released stats on Opera Mini usage throughout January 2012. It recorded 159m users over the course of the month, who viewed 108.7bn pages.

Compared to December 2011, the increase was 4.2 % on a month-to-month basis for users, and 5.4% growth for page views.

In terms of trends, the study considers shifts in global surfing patterns, with two-thirds of all countries surveyed more active on the mobile web during weekdays than the weekends.