Facebook Inc is a great place to connect with friends and family and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has done a great job of keeping it at the center of the social media universe. However, despite the fact that Facebook is designed to be fun and social, Zuckerberg has another goal – that goal being to make money from ads served to users on the site. Zuckerberg won’t allow anything to stop his firm from selling ads. The war on Ad Blockers is underway.
Last week, the firm revealed that it has rolled out an update to its source code in order to render ad blockers useless. It doesn’t matter if you have installed a free or paid ad blocker on your computers or mobile devices, the firm has updated its code to bypass the ad blockers and serve you ads.
View ads or stop using Facebook
Last week, Andrew Bosworth VP of Ads & Business Platform at Facebook revealed that the firm would no longer tolerate ad blockers. He admitted that bad ads could obscure useful content, distract viewers, and slow down load times, and that some ads are not even remotely related to the viewer’s interest. He revealed that the firm has rolled out new tools that will give users more control over the ads they see when they use the platform.
However, the long and short of Facebook ‘s new ad policy is that users will be given the tools to determine the kind of ads they see but that viewers should not expect an ads free experience. Bosworth observes that ads are good because “When they’re relevant and well-made, ads can be useful, helping us find new products and services and introducing us to new experiences.”
Here’s why Facebook is passionately defending ads
It doesn’t take much research or analysis to uncover why Facebook is defending Ads and waging a war against Ad blockers. To start with, the firm practically makes all its money from Ads and the platform might have gone the way of MySpace if not for ads. In Q2 2016, the firm reported that had more than $6.24B in ad revenue. Interestingly, eMarketer forecasts that 96% of the firm’s total worldwide revenue in 2016 will come from Ads.
Analysts at eMarketer have also observed that Ads will contribute 96.8% to the firm’s total worldwide revenue by 2018. From the foregoing, it is obvious that Facebook cannot afford to allow users to opt out of viewing ads because those ads are the lifeblood of its business. Bosworth observes that “ads support our mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected.”
Nonetheless, it is important to point out the fact that many viewers have an aversion to ads—whether relevant or not. In fact, more than 26% of Internet users in the U.S. use an Ad blocker to mark a 34.4% increase from the number people using Ad blockers in 2015. Analysts have forecasted that the number of people using ad blockers will increase to 32% by 2017. Hence, Facebook’s move to nullify ad blockers might throw up some nasty surprises in user growth and user engagement going forward.