Facebook is going to make all of its users look at ads, even if they have ad-blockers installed.
The site says that it will now use special software that will stop people from being able to block ads, and force them to appear on people’s browsers. Facebook said that it understood why people used ad blockers, which it claimed was primarily motivated by people being annoyed by bad ads. But the company needs to show people ads to keep making money, it said, and will look to fix the problems that made people installed the extensions on their computer.
Early this year The New York Times website showed a message This read: “The best things in life aren’t free”. It went on to explain that “advertising helps us fund our journalism” and gave the visitor two options to read the newspaper’s online content: disable their ad-blocking software or pay for a subscription.
Many angry internet users took to sites such as Twitter and Reddit to vent their frustrations: “It’s not OK to show me ads that detract from your website design and make it ugly,” said one. Others argued that ads were more than just an irritation as they could compromise user privacy and security.
Start-ups such as Sourcepoint and Secret Media now offer publishers ways to surpass ad-blocking software. Another of these, Oriel, in June launched an anti-ad-blocking tool for WordPress, the content management system and blogging platform used by more than 60m websites. This will allow small bloggers as well as large media companies to take action against blocker software.
Similarly, Sweden’s biggest publishers will join forces next month to call the ad blockers’ bluff. In a month-long experiment the publishers will collectively block people who use ad blocking software. The idea is that by acting en masse, they will be able to turn the ad-blocking tide.