Facebook Hates Ad Blockers So Much It Now Blocks Them

Facebook is blocking ad blockers on the desktop version of its service, saying well-made, relevant ads can be "useful." At the same time, the world's biggest social media company says it is giving users easier ways to decide what types of ads they want to see -- unless, of course, the answer is "none."

Ad blockers filter out ads by refusing to display page images and other elements that originated with a known ad server. But Facebook has found a way around this. Beginning Tuesday, the desktop version of Facebook will show users ads even if they have ad blockers installed.

The changes don't affect the mobile Facebook app, which brings in the bulk of the company's advertising revenue. As with most new Facebook features, the changes are being rolled out to users over time, so some people might see it before others.

Facebook Needs Ads

While couching its move in the language of customer service -- primarily by reiterating its premise that ads serve a purpose if they're relevant and well-targeted -- Facebook is also upfront about needing them to make money.

Andrew Bosworth, a Facebook vice president, pointed out in a blog post that Facebook is a free service that's only able to operate because it makes money from advertising.

In the most recent quarter , Facebook made $6.24 billion in advertising revenue, an increase of 63 percent from a year earlier. Mobile advertising (which is not affected by the changes) accounted for 84 percent of this.

Cat-and-Mouse Blocking

Several publishers, such as The New York Times have tried to work around ad blockers by asking users with ad blockers installed to turn them off in order to be allowed on a website. Other technology can "reinsert" ads that have been blocked. But there are ways to configure ad blockers to stymie these efforts...

Comments are closed.