The back-and-forth between Facebook and ad-blocking software companies has become almost farcical at this point: After Facebook said it would block the use of ad blockers, the leading ad-blocking company announced that it will block the use of Facebook's ad-blocker blocker. And now Facebook says it is rolling out a fix that will disable the ad-blocker's blocker blocking. As humorous as this cat-and-mouse battle may seem, there is a serious principle at stake for Facebook. If it can't reliably ensure that users are seeing its advertising, then the 1 billion it currently makes on desktop ads is potentially in jeopardy, and questions might also be raised about its ability to display ads on mobile too, which is a 5-billion business. That's why the giant social network rolled out its ad-blocker force field earlier this week, with a blog post that spent a lot of time on the controls that Facebook gives to users that allows them to choose which ads they want to see, and very little time on the technicalities of blocking ad-blockers.
Let the whack-a-mole game begin. A mere two days after Facebook blocked ad blocking software, the ad blockers have managed to block Facebook's ad blocker-blocker. Thursday morning, Adblock Plus announced that a new filter for banning Facebook's ads has been added to the main EasyList filter list used by the extension. Here's how to force Adblock Plus's filter list to update if you want in on the adblocking action. Update: Facebook already rolled out new code to break Adblock Plus's workaround, according to Techcrunch.
Facebook said it would take steps to keep ad-blocking software from allowing Facebook desktop users to strip the social network of ads. SAN FRANCISCO -- Popular ad-blocking software says it can override Facebook's measures to force people using ad blockers to view Facebook ads on desktop computers. Adblock Plus gave users instructions to outwit Facebook and peruse an ad-free version of the social network on Thursday. The steps require users to change code in the software's settings. Ad-blocking software makers are responding to Facebook's announcement Tuesday that it would make it tough for the software to distinguish between a status update and a sponsored ad on the desktop version of the social network.
Facebook FB -0.02 % is going to start forcing ads to appear for all users of its desktop website, even if they use ad-blocking software. The social network said on Tuesday that it will change the way advertising is loaded into its desktop website to make its ad units considerably more difficult for ad blockers to detect. Ads are a part of the Facebook experience; they're not a tack on," said Andrew "Boz" Bosworth, vice president of Facebook's ads and business platform. User adoption of ad-blocking software has grown rapidly in recent years, particularly outside of the U.S. According to estimates by online advertising trade body the Interactive Advertising Bureau, 26% of U.S. internet users now use ad blockers on their desktop devices. Facebook declined to comment when asked on what portion of its desktop users have ad-blocking software installed.
Adblock Plus has struck online advertising another blow by offering a new filter for users who want to block Facebook ads. Ad-blocking apps, plugins, and software are used to strip the majority of advertising out of website pages, social media networks, and other online services. While they can prevent malvertising -- fraudulent and malicious ads -- from potentially placing users at risk, they can have a massive knock-on effect for companies that rely on advert-generated revenue to stay afloat and keep offering free content online. There's no easy option -- although The Pirate Bay has recently turned to visitor CPU cryptocurrency mining as an alternative to ads -- beyond negotiation between vendor and ad-block provider, or making ads more seamless to prevent users from turning to such software in the first place. Some of the time, a game of cat-and-mouse comes into play, with adblockers on a campaign to block adverts, and vendors changing tactic to stop it occurring.