Facebook Updates Control of Ads and Ad Blocking

On August 9 Facebook has announced it is expanding the tools it gives people to control their advertising experience and is providing an update to its approach to ad blocking on its platform. 

The company’s press release explains the move: "As more and more content has shifted to the internet, online experiences have improved dramatically, becoming more immersive and intuitive. But many digital ads haven’t kept up. We’ve all experienced a lot of bad ads: ads that obscure the content we’re trying to read, ads that slow down load times or ads that try to sell us things we have no interest in buying. Bad ads are disruptive and a waste of our time."

Specifically, the company said it is making ad preferences easier to use so as to allow users to stop seeing certain types of ads by removing the interest from their ad preferences. At the same time, it is adding tools that will allow people to stop seeing ads from businesses or organizations who have added them to their customer lists.

In terms of ad blocking software and the company’s approach to them, the release explained: "We’ve designed our ad formats, ad performance and controls to address the underlying reasons people have turned to ad blocking software. 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. 

 

Some ad blocking companies accept money in exchange for showing ads that they previously blocked — a practice that is at best confusing to people and that reduces the funding needed to support the journalism and other free services that we enjoy on the web. Facebook is one of those free services, and ads support our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected. Rather than paying ad blocking companies to unblock the ads we show — as some of these companies have invited us to do in the past — we’re putting control in people’s hands with our updated ad preferences and our other advertising controls.

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