Facebook makes its money from advertisements. Without those ads, Facebook would not really be able to operate. The company has tried numerous times to make advertising on the site more targeted so that users can see only the ads that appeal to them, but for some users this is still too much advertising.
Those users often turn to an ad blocker like Adblock. Facebook has recently tried to block anyone using Adblock - and now Adblock is fighting back with updates.
The War on Facebook Ads
Facebook recently created an advertising update on the social site. This update included letting users avoid ads that they do not want to see. For example, if your Facebook feed is full of ads about raincoats and you don’t want to see ads about raincoats, you can simply click the box that asks you whether or not you want to see those types of ads. The social network has added this user-friendly feature in order to appease social users that do not want to see ads.
But those people that really do not want to see ads on Facebook are fighting back by using Adblock. The ad blocker worked on the social site for some time, but then Facebook started to see revenues dip a bit. So Facebook did what any company seeking to turn a profit would do - Facebook made it impossible for the ad blockers to work on sponsored posts.
Then AdBlock fought back.
The New AdBlock for Facebook
The newest update to AdBlock allows users to block Facebook ads once again. The company added some changes to its filters that now do not allow Facebook to block AdBlock users. The update is easy to install and aims to make it impossible for sponsored ads to appear on Facebook.
Facebook claims that the new AdBlock update not only block ads but also blocks some user posts making the whole Facebook experience a negative one. Whether or not this is true has not been verified, but Facebook did issue a statement saying that the company does plan to address the Adblock issue.
The Fight Continues
AdBlock claims that it has the right to provide its service to users (that service being the ability to block ads). Facebook claims that it has the right to ban ad blockers because at the end of the day Facebook is a company that has the right to make money from ads. While it will be hard for Facebook to ban anyone attempting to use an ad blocker, this might be the direction that the company has to go in given no other choice.
If Facebook continues to block ads, companies like AdBlock will just keep updating filters. The battle will simply keep turning. This fight might eventually get legal though Facebook is trying to avoid that kind of publicity. Just how big is this issue? Around 200 million users use ad blockers each year and that number is quickly growing. This could mean that advertisers start to pull out from Facebook soon.