Facebook is moving to dismiss ad blockers on desktop, announcing that it has tweaked its technology to bypass such software. On the bright side, ad preferences options may offer a silver lining.
From now on, Facebook's new technology will render ad blockers useless on its desktop site, which means that even if you have an ad blocker installed, you will still see ads on Facebook. The company already bypassed ads on its mobile apps a while back, trying to fight a whopping mobile ad blocking surge, and now it's pushing the scheme onto its desktop site as well.
At the same time, Facebook is also updating the ad preferences to add more tools designed for individuals to tailor their ad experience. With the new tools in place, Facebook users will be able to take themselves off certain customer lists for ads, albeit they won't be able to evade ads completely.
"We've designed our ad formats, ad performance and controls to address the underlying reasons people have turned to ad-blocking software," Facebook notes.
The company says that after asking users why they choose to use ad blockers, it learned that most resorted to the practice as a means to avoid disruptive and annoying ads.
In this context, Facebook thinks that making ads better, as opposed to blocking them altogether, will be a win-win for everyone. Users will no longer see disruptive ads, while businesses and publishers will be able to keep their services free thanks to ads.
"As we offer people more powerful controls, we'll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad-blocking software," the company adds.
The new ad preferences mean that if you don't want to see ads for a certain category such as cars, clothes and others or from certain companies, the new tools will make it easier for you to tailor your experience. If you don't have any choice but to see ads on Facebook, at least you can customize it so that you see ads for things you might actually be interested in.
According to Facebook, its updated ad preferences and other advertising tools put more control in users' hands.
To pull this off and successfully bypass ad-blocking software on the desktop, Facebook will make it harder for an ad blocker to distinguish between a sponsored ad and a legitimate status update on the desktop version of Facebook.
The advertising industry has long been complaining that ad blockers are amounting to billions of dollars in lost revenue each year, affecting businesses and publishers worldwide. Some publishers even chose to make their content unavailable to those who use ad blockers, sparking an ad-block controversy on the tech scene.
On the other hand, many consumers use ad-blocking software because ads consume more mobile data, cause web pages to load more slowly and drain their devices' batteries.
From Facebook's point of view, an acceptable middle ground to appease both parties would be to improve advertising and allow users to continue enjoying free content and services as long as they agree to targeted ads tailored to their preferences.
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