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Facebook's Social Ad Problem

Posted on 8.09.2016

Blocking the ad blockers with advertising?

As an advertiser on Facebook, do you really want to spend for an impression for a user that has an ad blocker installed? Whether you want it or not, that is what you're about to get.

The use of ad blockers has skyrocketed the past few years (growing 41 percent from 2014 to 2015 according to PageFair) and experts argue that in many ways that has contributed to the increase in advertising costs as less inventory drives demand (which if you recall from your economics 101 class, drives up cost/price).


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Facebook announced this week that it now has a way to force ads onto users that have ad blockers installed (desktop only, for now). That's quite interesting from a technology standpoint, and its certainly good for the advertising revenues of Facebook (the majority of which just so happens to come from mobile), but it's not good news at all for anyone else - end-users or advertisers.

The social network didn't go into much detail as to how it will serve ads and get around the ad blockers, but did indicate that it has made changes to its ad preference system to make it easier for consumers to use and filter out certain types of ads they determine to be annoying, repetitive or intrusive (strangely the very ads that Facebook is more than willing to take advertisers money for showing).

If you're like everyone else that has caught wind of this, you're likely very confused. So, what do you think is really going on? Is ad blocking so harmful to Facebook that they have no choice but to develop a workaround that shows ads to those that have demonstrated they don't want to see ads?

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