Desktop ad blockers were born out of necessity during a time when not everyone had broadband internet at home. Some websites would be so laden with ads that they would load at a snail’s pace. It didn’t help that often times the ads were obtrusive and irrelevant. To make matters even worse some advertisers would have their ads inject malware into unprotected systems, so the use of ad blockers has had some justification. The problem with them is they’re akin to killing a fly with a shotgun. Most websites use advertising as a way to make money so they can continue to stay in business. Due to a number of abusers all advertisers have been painted as the enemy by some. However, if users continue to block ads, your favorite website could lose revenue forcing them to shut down.
Within recent years, many websites have been fighting back against ad blockers. Some websites will ask you to disable your ad blocker if you enjoy their content. Others will try to get you to sign up for a paid version of their website that is ad free. Another way websites are fighting back is to disable some of their functionality while an ad blocker is enabled. Now, a major player in the web space has brought the ad blocker wars to a brand new level.
Facebook recently announced that their new ads will start bypassing ad blockers. While this may be met with controversy by some users, Facebook says it will be offering tools to their users to make the experience more pleasant.
Facebook is debuting a new ad preferences tool that will make it easier to see how you’re being targeted. You’ll be able to specify your interests, opt out of those Facebook has incorrectly associated you with, and see which advertisers have your details on a customer list.
Unfortunately when Facebook usually sets out new tools for its users, they have a history of being overly complicated and confusing, such as their privacy tools. However this battle may just be one of attrition since most users access Facebook through their mobile app where the ads can not be blocked. Mobile is where Facebook makes most of its money. With the number of desktop users dwindling, is it worth it to go through all this trouble to get a few more dollars out of a dying breed? Facebook seems to think so.