Facebook Battles the Ad-Blocker

Browsing through Facebook, you probably encounter at least 5 adverts in the time it takes you to check; what is going on in the world, who’s in a relationship with who, and see a few pictures at your mates new dog/cousin’s new baby. Cleverly, the adverts are tailored to your own interests, been browsing something on ASOS? Be sure to find an advert on your news feed, ready to tempt you. Had a little moment in work fantasising about that 5* Sanotrini villa next summer? Yep, there it is at the side of the screen, reminding you of what you can’t afford but are probably going to buy anyway. Like or loathe them, one of the main places Facebook makes its money is through advertising and so when something threatens this income, Facebook is not going to take it lying down. Whilst many of us may welcome blocked adverts into our lives, because, let’s face it they pretty much just get in the way, Facebook is doing all it can to make sure we keep seeing those pesky little pop ups.

Company Adblock Plus basically does exactly what it says on the tin, offering a software for users to buy that blocks adverts on social media pages such as Facebook. With over 100 million users of Facebook today, it is definitely a concept that is doing well, appealing to people who want an interrupted Twitter browse or Facebook stalk. However, although the battle has been ongoing for quite some time Facebook have finally hit back at Adblock Plus and other similar software  that is available to buy, with a genius move that involves changing the way the adverts function, so that they appear as regular posts from a Facebook user to the Adblocker, rather than adverts themselves. Just when you think its all over and Mr Zuckerberg and his men have triumphed once again, Adblocker find a way around Facebook’s crafty inventions and now, ladies and gents, we find ourselves in a full-blown battle of the adverts.

Just as they think it’s all over and Adblocker Plus begin to celebrate the victory of a battle that saw the underdog come out on top (a definite crowd pleaser) Facebook start to pick apart the actual way in which Adblocker works. Head of advertising and man of the moment Andrew Bosworth, or Boz as he is otherwise known, informed the public that buying into this software wont just block your ads, but will also post to your friends pages and on your news feed, and no-one wants that. Writing a status yourself is risky enough, never mind one that is computer generated and is bound to embarrass you no end.  In a serious (verging on threatening?!) manner, Boz announced that he was going to ‘address the issue’. WE CANT WATCH.

Part 2

In a matter of HOURS after Adblocker thought they were victorious, Boz stuck to his promise and by Thursday evening last week the team at Facebook had generated a code which meant that Adblocker’s software and workaround of the previous issue, was basically irrelevant, their software no longer worked at blocking Facebook adverts. Facebook 1 -0 Adblock Plus. Despite no longer working on the facebook sites, Boz still warned users of the dangers of Adblock companies. Originally set up to remove potentially harmful pop ups and the like, the Adblocker can now block adverts at the start of vidoes and also non-intrusive adverts at the side of websites, which are of course, a huge income to many businesses. Many of these social media sites, as well as Google are completely free to use and so Boz argues that people need to understand that they must be funded from somewhere.  To add insult to injury, the advert stopping company have used their ad blocking powers to their advantage and in an ironic turn of events they are charging companies to be put on their ‘white list’ which simply means any adverts from that company will be spared from a dismal blocking fate. Facebook, of course, are attempting to stop the temptation of large companies paying the enemy, by instead making sure that their adverts can be seen on their site.