Facebook To Bypass Ad Blockers On Desktop

Facebook has announced that the social networking company will start serving ads to its desktop users, including to those who have ad-blocking software installed and running.

In a blog post announcing the changes, Andrew Bosworth, vice-president, Ads & Business Platform said, “People don’t like to see ads that are irrelevant to them or that disrupt or break their experience. People also want to have control over the kinds of ads they see. As a result of what we’ve learned, we’ve introduced tools to help people control their experience, improved how we decide which ads to show and created new ad formats that complement, rather than detract from, people’s experience online.”

With the latest update, Facebook is targeting what it terms “bad ads”—ads that obscure the content people are trying to read, ads that slow down load times or ads that try to sell things users have no interest in buying, Livemint reports. Bad ads are disruptive and a waste of time. The rise of ad blocking is a clear signal to the ad industry that consumers are dissatisfied with their current experiences. According to research commissioned by Facebook, the main reasons cited for using ad blockers include avoiding disruptive ads (69 percent), ads that slow down their browsing experience (58 percent) and security malware risks (56 percent).

In general, younger consumers are more open to online advertising and data collection and if they are going to see ads, they prefer them to be personalized and relevant. The research also shows that consumers want more control over ads online, across all age groups and geographies, and agree that increased control will improve their online experience.

For instance, eight in 10 people (79 percent) agree that they should be able to opt out of seeing ads on specific topics (e.g. Football or Politics) if they want to. Thus, what Facebook is now doing is to provide additional controls to people that will result in a positive, personalized experience while also building trust.

This means that from now on Facebook users can stop seeing certain types of ads. Facebook has expanded its set of tools so that the 1.7 billion monthly active users can better control their advertising experience by adding or removing the kind of ads they would like to opt in to.

For instance, if someone does not want to see ads about travel or animals, they can manually remove that interest from their ad preferences .

Users can also manually opt out of seeing ads from businesses or organizations who have added them to their customer lists, ensuring that “liking” a page doesn’t saddle you with ads from that company or business forever. “These improvements are designed to give people even more control over how their data informs the ads they see,” claims Bosworth.

Facebook also takes a swipe at some ad blocking companies who they claim accept money in exchange for showing ads that they previously blocked—a practice that is at best confusing to people and that reduces the funding needed to support the journalism and other free services that we enjoy on the web. Bosworth writes, “Facebook is one of those free services, and ads support our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected. Rather than paying ad blocking companies to unblock the ads we show—as some of these companies have invited us to do in the past—we’re putting control in people’s hands with our updated ad preferences and our other advertising controls.”

For now, the company will only be bypassing ad-blockers on the desktop version of its website, meaning that the vast majority of those who access Facebook’s app on smartphones and tablets, will be less susceptible to ad blocking. By unblocking ads, Facebook could boost its already impressive bottomline. In the second quarter ended 30 June, Facebook’s advertising revenue grew 63 percent to $6.2 billion. Of this, mobile advertising revenue reached $5.2 billion, up 81 percent year-over-year, and was approximately 84 percent of total ad revenue.

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