The YouTube ad-blocking application YouTube Vanced is no more, according to an announcement from the developers published on their subreddit over the weekend. The Verge has since confirmed with the developers that the app was shut down directly by Google via a cease-and-desist letter. Read their comments on the Verge's original article.
"Vanced has been discontinued," the developers said in a post on Reddit and Twitter. "In the coming days, the download links will be taken down. The Discord server will stay for the time being. We know this is not something you wanted to hear, but it's something we need to do. We want to thank you all for the support over the years."
The application will continue to work for those who have already downloaded it, according to comments made by developers on Sunday, however, the application will eventually become outdated in a couple of years and likely cease to work at that point. The application ran for nearly five years before being killed off.
Vanced was a third-party YouTube application designed to block ads on YouTube videos. The application also added a black dark-mode and adjusted numerous other features of YouTube to improve the user experience, including reading the dislike button among other things.
Some users of the application have suggested that Vanced's attempt to create a Vanced NFT could have played a role in putting the application in the crosshairs of Google's legal team. It is difficult to confirm whether there is any truth to this argument, but it likely didn't help.
The shutting down of Vanced comes after YouTube also took multiple Discord music bots down last year for similar reasons. That move was very unpopular among Discord users, who relied on the music bots to play music in their voice channels during DnD games and other events. It is clear that Google is focused on shutting down applications that could be used to circumnavigate their ad monetization methods.
The death of YouTube Vanced will impact some number of YouTube Gaming viewers, who preferred the use of the application for either its unique features, or its more dubious ad-blocking function.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.