Sunnyvale, California – On Friday, some Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) users reported they couldn’t access their Yahoo mail in Chrome or Firefox.

Adblock, a software that lets you browse the web free of online advertising, complained they could not access their email accounts. Instead of seeing their inboxes, they received the following error message: “Uh oh… We are unable to display Yahoo Mail. Please disable Ad Blocker to continue using Yahoo Mail.”

AdBlock users experienced an error message while trying to login into their Yahoo mail accounts. Credit: Gazette Union

Yahoo confirmed the user’s complaints. “At Yahoo, we are continually developing and testing new product experiences. This is a test we’re running for a small number of Yahoo Mail users in the U.S.,”Anne Yeh, a Yahoo spokeswoman, said in a statement. She did not say exactly how many users were affected.

Publishers providing free content online need a source of income and Ads are the primary or only way. The rising popularity of newer mobile ad-blockers has given a major concern to web properties. It seems that Yahoo has reached to a possible solution: no ads, no emails.

Tom Yeomans, CEO of Yavli, a company that creates technology that combats ad-block softwares said in a comment that banning ad blocker users from their email service will force them to disable their ad blocker if they want to check their emails within their web browser.

Many publishers are reconsidering their advertising models, particularly for their mobile sites. Besides Yahoo, some publishers are reconsidering the way the display web ads on both desktop and mobile sites as a way of fighting against ad blocking softwares. Their plan is to reinvent the traditional way ads are shown and instead generate revenue through sponsorships or so-called native advertising.

Something similar happened in September. YouTube forced users to watch full-length ads if an ad-blocker was installed. YouTube has also revealed a new ad-free subscription service known as YouTube Red. This could be perceived as a move to salvage profits otherwise lost to users running ad-blocking software.

Source: NY Times