Cat-and-Mouse: Facebook Strikes AdBlock


    Facebook is crashing down on ad blockers.

    Andrew Bosworth, VP Engineering at Facebook, wrote in a blog post on Tuesday that Facebook will begin circumventing ad block programs so that they can deliver relevant and undisruptive ads to their users.

    Ad Blockers – programs that erase ads from web pages – have become increasingly popular as more and more people are beginning to feel dissatisfied with annoying and intrusive ads.

    In a study that surveyed 2,000 online adults aged 16+ across six different countries, it was revealed that 69% of people use ad blockers because they find ads disruptive. 58% of those people also said they use it because ads slow down their browsing experience, and 56% said they use ad blockers for security reasons and to prevent malware.

    Advertising agencies are getting desperate. There are reports of companies “paying ad blockers in exchange for showing ads that they previously blocked”–  which is detrimental because it funnels the money out of free services and makes it difficult for consumers to continue enjoying things like Facebook for free.

    That is why Facebook is going to try something new. Something that Bosworth believes may give companies the control over their ads.

    “With today’s announcement, we’re building on these efforts by making ad preferences easier to use,” wrote Bosworth “So you can stop seeing certain types of ads.

    “If you don’t want to see ads about a certain interest like travel or cats, you can remove the interest from your ad preferences. These improvements are designed to give people even more control over how their data informs the ads they see,” continue Bosworth.

    In response to Facebook’s ad reformatting initiative, Ad Block Plus, an open-source ad blocking extension, wrote in a blog post that eventually Facebook will have to deal with an updated ad blocker that will get past all of the new tricks.

    “This is an unfortunate move, because it takes a dark path against user choice,” wrote Ben Williams,  author of the post. “But it’s also no reason to overreact: cat-and-mouse games in tech have been around as long as spammers have tried to circumvent spam filters.”

    Nevertheless, if Facebook’s new ad strategy works, people many no longer feel the need to download -ad blockers. It might even be useful for people.

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    I am a lecturer at the University of Economics in Bratislava, department of Banking and International Finance. I have a Ph.D. academic degree, my dissertation was focused on major markets. Commodities and stock markets are also the main focus of my research and publication activities. I have approximately 10 years of investing experiences. My investments mostly focus on small- to mid-cap companies of energy sector, financial and technology.