Google says its controversial Manifest V3 – which will prevent adblockers – will now launch in 2024 instead of 2023 as planned.

adblockers, chrome, chrome extensions, google, manifest v3, web browsers, web extensions, microsoft

Manifest V3 is a controversial API that Google is planning on baking into Chrome browser extensions. The company says it will bring more safety, but developers say it restricts innovation and decreases performance. While Google is not relenting, the company is extending its schedule for disabling Manifest V2 and replacing it with V3.

The search giant initially planned to switch to Manifest V3 in January 2023. However, in a post on the Chrome Developers blog, the company says the timeframe is changing. Plans are going ahead to move to newer extensions, but Google is now giving developers an extra year of Manifest V2 support.

Because of the change, the timeline now looks like this:

  • “In January 2023, use of Manifest V3 will become a prerequisite for the Featured badge as we raise the security bar for extensions we highlight in the store.
  • In June 2023, the Chrome Web Store will no longer allow Manifest V2 items to be published with visibility set to Public. All existing Manifest V2 items with visibility set to Public at that time will have their visibility changed to Unlisted.
  • In January 2024, following the expiration of the Manifest V2 enterprise policy, the Chrome Web Store will remove all remaining Manifest V2 items from the store.”

This means the older extensions will now be removed in January 2024. Furthermore, Google is also detailing how it using a gradual disablement of Manifest V2 to “ensure a smooth end-user experience.”

For this experimental phase, the company is using two stages:

  • “Starting in January in Chrome 112, Chrome may run experiments to turn off support for Manifest V2 extensions in Canary, Dev, and Beta channels.
  • Starting in June in Chrome 115, Chrome may run experiments to turn off support for Manifest V2 extensions in all channels, including stable channel.”

Ad-Blocking Controversy

Manifest V3 is an API that was first announced way back in October 2018. It is meant to boost browser extension performance, improve security, and give users more management options for extensions. Many developers were unhappy with the API because they found it also prevents the use of ad blockers.

Microsoft has previously said it will not employ similar measures in its Edge web browser.

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