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RevenueCat and Ad Blockers

  • 22 December 2021
  • 3 replies
  • 833 views

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First of all, thank you to everyone who reached out to let us know RevenueCat was added to a popular ad block list! Because of your messages, we were able to quickly make sense of some customer support questions and start taking action.

 

So, what’s the situation?

The RevenueCat domain was added to a community-shared list of domains that are imported by popular ad blocking tools like AdAway and Pi-hole. This means anyone using these tools is unable to access RevenueCat functionality. 

More specifically, developers and teams using RevenueCat won’t be able to access the RevenueCat dashboard. And with regards to app end users, app purchases can’t sync with RevenueCat and thus won’t allow for entitlements to unlock or for purchases to be properly reflected in dashboard metrics.

In other words, RevenueCat won’t work at all for these users.
 

Why was RevenueCat added to this list?

The short answer is “we don’t know.” 

It seems to be a misunderstanding of what RevenueCat does, although we’ve explained that RevenueCat doesn’t serve ads and doesn’t participate in any ad serving exchanges, and what little information we do collect is only for the purposes of tracking subscription status and even that is done in a privacy-conscious way (e.g. data is stored against an anonymous UUID that is not persisted across installs, IP address is dropped from the RevenueCat servers, etc.)

However, the list maintainers have thus far been unmoved by our explanations and unwilling to engage in a discussion.
 

What’s the solution?

Get RevenueCat removed from the blocked sites list

Obviously, this is the best solution but one that is currently out of our control. We will continue working on this front though until it’s clear there’s nothing more we can do.

Next best solution

We’re currently working on several solutions, including adding an SDK error that lets you know RevenueCat was blocked at the DNS level (likely due to an ad blocker) which would then allow you to pass appropriate error messaging on to the end user.

We’ll provide more information about our other solutions as we get further along.

 

What can you do in the meantime?

If you use Pi-hole or a similar tool, you should add the api.revenuecat.com to your domain whitelist. Also, if you think ad blocking tools are popular with your users, consider proactively asking them to do the same to ensure their subscriptions work seamlessly across platforms and devices.

Finally, share this information with your own support teams so they know to ask about ad blockers in their troubleshooting process with users.


3 replies

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Hi @Brennan! Thanks for the article. I’ve had some (potential) customers asking me recently that they couldn’t purchase anything (macOS/iOS app), and I explained the VPN/blocker situation to them. This happened recently, though, so… Are there any new developments on this front?

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@Carlo Zottmann Hey! Shortly after I posted this we successfully made our case to the maintainers of the blocked sites list Pi-hole was using and RevenueCat is no longer blocked there. Most recently, DuckDuckGo’s privacy tool on Android was also blocking RevenueCat but again, we were able to demonstrate we’re a good actor and they stopped blocking us as well.

Unfortunately, it will always be possible to block RevenueCat. There really aren’t any developments on that front. If you think you’ve identified another list that’s blocking us we’d love to know about it. 

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Thank you, that’s good news!

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