When it comes to interacting with users, almost everything Facebook does is meant to gather our data. That information is critically important to the company’s bottom line; the more it knows about you, the more money it can make by targeting advertising at you and your specific interests. So it makes sense why Facebook is so spooked by ad blocking technology. However, privacy-concerned users should be cheering recent victories in the realm of Facebook ad blocking by the company Ad Block Plus.
Companies like Ad Block Plus have been locked in a long-running battle with the social media giant to eliminate sponsored posts from users’ feeds. With its significantly greater resources, Facebook has eventually emerged on top every time. However, since late September, Ad Block Plus has successfully kept sponsored posts from appearing in users’ desktop News Feeds while also erasing commercials from Facebook Watch. Previously, the ad blocking company was only able to hold off Facebook’s counterpunch for several days, so the fact that the technology has held in place for a month is notable.
“We never stopped trying to solve this,” said Ben Williams, a communications manager at the Adblock Plus parent company. “The idea this time was to make the ad block strong enough so it wasn’t just a flash in the pan. It needed to sustain.”
Of course, Facebook could defeat the technology at any moment. And in that case, the fight will go on.
“Facebook is still vulnerable to ad blocking and will likely continue the arms race of technical advances to get their ads past blockers as the blockers continue to try to suppress them,” Nicole Perrin, an eMarketer analyst, told Ad Age.
No matter how this particular round turns out, users who don’t want to see ads are benefitting big time.