Facebook has signalled its intention to tackle the rising threat of ad-blockers by forcing desktop users to view ads whether they like or not, despite claiming it understood how annoying such ads can be.
In a blog post, Facebook’s advertising vice-president Andrew Bosworth insisted the social network would offer better tools for controlling what material does make it through to users’ newsfeeds.
He said: “As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software,” said in a blog post.
Users will be allowed to customise the types of ads they see by selecting the brands and businesses they prefer. “People don’t like to see ads that are irrelevant to them or that disrupt or break their experience,” Bosworth added.
Ad-blockers are still in their infancy on mobile devices, which account for most visits to Facebook, but about 200 million people worldwide use ad-blocking software on their desktop computers and a recent study from GlobalWebIndex showed at least 70% of users are are interested in doing so across all devices.
In March, the IAB’s latest Ad Blocking Report showed the industry is failing to stem the rising tide of ad-blockers, with a sharp increase over the past four months, although many consumers are content to turn the software off to get still get free content – if they have to.
Facebook generated $6.2bn (£4.7bn) in revenue from advertising in the most recent quarter.
Data insight ‘the only cure to ad-blocking epidemic’
Annoying, irrelevant ads driving ad-block take-up
Ad-blocking up again but many turn it off – if forced
Huge rise in mobile take-up fuels ad-blocking fears
Over half of all online ads are never even seen
Revealed: why ad-blocking has not hit mobile yet
IAB rejects ‘adblockalypse now, yet take-up rises