This week Facebook revealed that third party ad blockers would now become redundant against the social media giant. According to their latest release (9th August, 2016), “As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software.”
What Does This Have to do With Ad Blockers?
While using the Facebook advertising dashboard, I have been previously warned that ad or IP blockers may tamper with the results of the ads I was placing. Facebook makes 97% of its revenue from adverts, which means bad advertising results may put their services in question.
And we all know, money talks.
Thin Edge of the Wedge
Back in May 2016, Facebook decided to take the ‘we care’ approach to let us down gently. In their “Bringing People Better Ads” article (because they think we want ads?) they explained that all the great free sites we have online are mostly supported by advertising and thus, it would be in our best interest to enable ads if we wanted to keep our beloved sites going. Fair enough. They also gave us hints as to how we could control our advertising a little more closely.
Facebook gave us “powerful controls” so that we have some say over what we see. By using their Ad Preferences tool, we’re able to give feedback and Manage Ad Preferences. You can also specify topics, find out why an ad was targeted to you or dismiss some topics. This way, you are able to control the ads you see on Facebook.
I’m Not on Facebook so it Doesn’t Apply to Me
Wrong. Facebook now offers technologies and services to advertisers to reach people who aren’t even on Facebook. Whatever you do on your browser will send feedback, which can be used to serve adverts on other platforms. This is known as online interest-based ads, and Facebook is in the business of servicing these too.
If you are on Facebook, you are able to control your interest-based advert settings directly via Facebook.
According to Wired.com, Facebook won’t actually be adapting their standard code that ad blockers rely on to block ads, but rather categorising their adverts differently. They say, “The idea is that ad-blockers won’t be able to tell the difference between ads and everything else on the page, and therefore won’t block the ads” with many ad block companies being sceptical about the results. Only time will tell.
Take the Power Back
The best way to take control over ads is to participate as much as possible. If Facebook really does create options for us to have our say, and are demanding better quality adverts, then this could actually be really good for the advertising industry.
If you would like to change your restrictions from the start, go to Ads under your settings tab:
We recommend getting involved and influencing what you see, and how you see it, within your own timeline.