Facebook planning measures to bypass ad-blocking software

Facebook planning measures to bypass ad-blocking software

Facebook, Investigation

Facebook is changing the design of adverts on the social network so they can bypass ad-blocking software aimed at reducing the number of adverts seen online.

However, the social media giant will give Facebook account holders the opportunity to control the type of adverts they see on the site by selecting and de-selecting suitable subjects. Users of the desktop version of the service will be able to edit their advert preferences to block adverts from some businesses.

In its most recent financial results published at the end of July, Facebook revealed that more than $6.2bn of its revenue in the last three months came from advertising. Just $200m of the firm’s total revenue came from elsewhere.

Facebook’s vice president of ads and business platform, Andrew Bosworth, said of the changes: “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.

“But because ads don’t always work this way, 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.”

Some have criticised ad-blockers by claiming they stifle the advertising revenue stream that many online publishers depend on.

Facebook said its decision to alter the design of its adverts comes after commissioning a study into consumer opinion on online adverts. The social network said more than two thirds of those surveyed said they used an ad-blocker because they found adverts disruptive.

“We’ve designed our ad formats, ad performance and controls to address the underlying reasons people have turned to ad-blocking software,” Mr Bosworth added.

“When we asked people about why they used ad-blocking software, the primary reason we heard was to stop annoying, disruptive ads. As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad-blocking software.”

Facebook also revealed that users will now be able to opt out of targeted advertising from businesses by removing them from the Ad Preferences section of their Facebook profile.

Figures from March claim that 22% of internet users over the age of 18 in the UK are now using an ad-blocker.

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