Facebook Attempts to Block Ads

“A moment’s beginning ends in a moment”
– Munia Khan

Update: According to multiple tech sources Facebook’s plan to stop ad blockers has already come under fire, with Adblock developing a way around Facebook’s approach. In doing so Adblock is also removing genuine posts and non-advertising content. Welcome to the battle..

This week, Adblock Plus – a popular ad-blocking tool boasting 100 million users, lost the stranglehold it had on Facebook. The social media giant delivered a one-two punch; first, that it had made it impossible for Adblock to tell sponsored content from organic content and second, that it was unveiling new controls for users to control the ads they see.

Advertisers and ad blockers are locked in a perpetual arms race. Caught in the middle of this escalating conflict are the brands trying to reach consumers and the platforms that deliver the users.

Adblock launched in 2006 and has been a thorn in the side of search engines, websites, blogs and social media platforms ever since. Until now, it has been so effective at blocking ads that even Google yielded to it – paying the company a rumored $25 million to be included in its “Acceptable Ads” program that allows ads to slip through its shield and reach users.

Now that Facebook has stood up to Adblock, it’s fair to wonder if Google will do the same given the technical prowess martialed in Mountain View. PageFair, an organization that serves the ad industry, estimates that Google is still losing billions in revenue despite paying Adbock’s ransom. After all, Adblock eliminates YouTube pre-roll ads and Google’s display ads.

If you’ve ever wondered why your clickthrough rates are low despite your best efforts to optimize your ads, it could be the result of ad blockers.

If Google is able to stop Adblock, it will be a good thing for marketers. Low CTRs will be the result of your ads failing to resonate instead of failing to reach.

Incidentally, it is possible to check and see if your campaigns are being affected by ad blocking – and by how much. It just requires the proper configuration of your analytics. If you’re interested in finding out – reach out to us and we’ll be happy to help.