Like all websites that earn their revenue primarily on advertising, Facebook is not immune to the impacts of ad blocking technology. Not content with standing by & taking it any longer, the company has decided to strike back.
Facebook announced on Tuesday plans to begin showing ads, once again, to visitors on desktop utilizing ad blocking tools. But instead of paying the top ad blockers to whitelist Facebook.com, the company is, instead, working around the system.
How It Works
According to an article in the New York Times, the Facebook ad blocking solution is to analyze how this technology identifies ads, then disguise their own paid content to become indiscernible from everything else on the page. For now, the company believes this will be enough to bypass ad blocking tools.
Facebook’s anti-ad block technology won’t extend to the mobile web, where third-party apps and browsers’ own built-in ad blocking tools do exist. Since there is no mechanism to block ads in the Facebook app at this time, this new policy won’t impact iOS or Android app users.
While Facebook earns most of its revenue off mobile visitors, desktop did account for $1 billion in just last quarter—a sizable chunk of change, to say the least. Facebook may have also found itself another source of income if this desktop anti-ad blocking solution proves effective, as there are bound to be other publishers interested in the specifics of pulling it off for themselves.
In announcing the disarmament of ad blockers, Facebook quietly unveiled better ad preferences tools for users. These controls allow Facebook users to opt-out of interest and company-specific advertising if they should choose. Ad preferences controls can be found here.