Google plans to transition to a new extension platform for its browser called Manifest V3 — the current version, Manifest V2, will leave with Chrome starting with version 112 in January 2023, initially in the Canary, Dev, and Beta channels. After that, in June, the company plans to start experiments with disabling it in stable versions, starting with Chrome 115.
After that, all Manifest V2 extensions in the Chrome Web Store will become “unregistered” and will be completely removed from the store starting in January 2024. According to Google, the new platform offers a lot of changes, mainly aimed at privacy and security. Along with this, Manifest V3 will “crack” ad blockers, which will not be able to work on the new platform as they work now.
Yes, most modern blockers, such as uBlock Origin or AdGuard, use the “webRequest” API to block entire categories of HTTP requests. However, this method can add significant delays in loading and rendering sites, which, of course, Google does not like. Manifest V3 instead requires developers to use “declarativeNetRequest”, which forces them to use a block list of specific addresses. The problem is that the “rule list” is limited to 30k entries, while many blocklists exceed 300k.
Well, Chrome users still have almost a year to decide what’s more important to them – no ads or a regular browser.