Facebook Flexes Ad Blocking Muscles; Counters AdBlock Plus’ Solution

After Facebook altered its code to bypass ad-blocking software from keeping ads at bay, within 48 hours, Adblock Plus found a way to push it back to square one of this cat-and-dog fight. However, the social media giant is not the one to back off from a battle as it launched another workaround to AdBlock Plus’ remedial situation. Facebook spokesperson, said in an interview withTechCrunch’s Josh Constine, the AdBlock Plus solution did not just remove ads, but also Facebook posts by Pages and friends.

According to the statement, Facebook said that ad-blocking software only ended up “punishing” users by removing relevant content from its social network. Understandably, that takes something away from the Facebook experience, and the company intends to do something about it. The social media titan recently introducedad preferences to give users more control over the kind of advertisements they want to see.

Ultimately, Facebook does not want to do away with advertisements altogether. The social network instead hopes that giving users more control over what they see will make them accept ads. If the alternative is to have legitimate Facebook posts removed with ads, some users might even accept having ads instead. It is important to note that ads on Facebook are not as intrusive and detrimental to the overall experience as they are on other websites. They are neatly tucked away, and the platform has already stated that it wants its users to see informative and useful ads. This makes sense, given that Facebook does not need advertising revenue so badly that it will accept just about anything.

It is rather interesting to note that Facebook’s plan to block ads was foiled just a few days after it first introduced it. AdBlock Plus found one way and other ad-blocking companies are bound to find other loopholes in its code. The social media giant, however, can find comfort in the fact that it can counter any measures taken by ad blocking companies fairly quickly, as was evident by its most recent counter-measure. It took Facebook less than a day to fix the loophole exploited by AdBlock Plus.

Ad blocking companies also require users to update their software to the latest version for the changes to take effect. Facebook, on the other hand, can revamp its coding with immediate effect. In theory, this means that some users might not even have had a chance to update to the new AdBlock Plus version before Facebook’s counter-measures were already put in place.

It is also interesting to note that Facebook’s new bypassing method for ad blockers is what caused problems for AdBlock Plus. It has mixed the coding for the ads with the content, which is why AdBlock Plus ended up blocking posts from friends along with ads. This interesting combination might perhaps deter ad blockers from messing with the biggest social network. It makes no sense to employ ad blockers on such platform if it means missing out on important posts from friends.

Interestingly enough, ad blocking software is often needed on websites where clicking anywhere results in a dozen popup windows. That problem does not persist with Facebook, so ad-blocking companies might even consider white listing the social network. It is highly unlikely that small companies will be able to keep pace with the acumen of Facebook’s elite team of software engineers. Facebook can also arguably be considered among websites and companies which deserve ad revenue to keep the free product up and running. News and social sources might hence be allowed to keep ad revenue running.

It will be interesting to see if ad blocking companies end up whitelisting such sources. If that happens, the impact of this on ad-tech revenue will have to be monitored. For example, if Facebook and news sources eventually become the only sources allowed to freely place ads, they might be tempted to charge more of a premium for ad placement services. This might lead to a different kind of ad-revenue model in the future, one that might not sit well with all parties. Having that said, it is highly unlikely that either Facebook, ad-blocking companies, or advertisers will face this problem anytime soon.

 [Source: Technewstoday]