Google Contributor, the service that let you pay fractions of pennies to remove Google-served ads from websites, is being shut down in mid-January 2017. In an email set to Contributor subscribers, Google says that there are "important changes" coming to Contributor ... mainly, that it's being shut down.
The full email:
Since launching in late 2014, Google Contributor has gone through a few different iterations of how it removes ads and charges users. The most recent (and user-friendly) model was to simply charge a flat rate of $6.99 per month and calculate the cost of the ads you removed, refunding you any money that wasn't put toward ads. It meant you never overpaid, and also didn't really feel the effect of being charged for every single ad that was removed.
While Google says that a new and improved version of Contributor will be launching next year, it's odd to see that its process for doing so involves completely shutting down the current version of Contributor and locking everyone's account. Considering how it's being handled, we could be in store for a pretty dramatic change to Contributor (including the name, perhaps).
Contributor was certainly an interesting idea and one that aimed to counteract the high usage of ad blockers on the web, but I find it hard to believe that there was any substantial number of users actively paying Contributor to remove ads. For as good of an idea as it is in its current form, Contributor needs a restructuring if it's going to catch on at the scale of any other Google service. Those who wish to be notified of the relaunch of Contributor's replacement can fill out this form and find out first.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.