Wednesday 29 January 2020

Adblockalypse: Facebook has blocked ad blockers from its website

Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg

Cara McGoogan

Facebook is going to stop people from using ad blocking technology on its site as part of a move to prevent revenue being funnelled away from the free service.

Effective immediately, the social network has made the code behind its adverts indistinguishable from that of users' content so that the paid-for posts will slip past ad blocking tools. 

"Many people have started avoiding certain websites or apps, or using ad blocking software, to stop seeing bad ads. These have been the best options to date," said Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's vice president adverts and business platform.

Facebook also announced an improvement to the way adverts work on its platform. It is now offering users the chance to curate the kinds of adverts that they see by telling Facebook what companies, people and interests they would like to be shown promotions about. 

The social network hopes by putting an end to "annoying, disruptive ads" in favour of "useful" ones that the change shouldn't be too invasive for its users.

"When they're relevant and well-made, ads can be useful, helping us find new products and services and introducing us to new experiences - like an ad that shows you your favourite band is coming to town or an amazing airline deal to a tropical vacation," said Bosworth.

The change will predominantly affect people who use the web version of Facebook.

To control the adverts you see on your News Feed, go to this page. You can deselect and add different interests, businesses and people that you would like to see sponsored posts about.

"These improvements are designed to give people even more control over how their data informs the ads they see," said Bosworth.  

Facebook's change was driven by research that found its users care more about whether an advert is disruptive and slows down their browsing experience than if it represents an invasion of their privacy. It hopes that users will find faster-loading, targeted adverts preferable to ad blockers.

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