Three days ago Facebook announced that it found a way to display ads on its desktop site even in the presence of ad blockers such as Adblock Plus. But, two days later, Adblock Plus found a way to scrape off Facebook ads still from its users News Feeds.
Facebook claims that Adblock Plus, in its move to scrape off ads, also removes relevant posts from groups, pages and friends. “We are not pleased that ad blockers are interfering with user experience as their new efforts are not just removing ads, but also relevant posts from friends and pages. The move does not rest well with us; therefore, we are soon going to do something about it. Our ad preferences tool does the same thing ad blockers do, but our does it better by displaying ads relevant to the users.”
Adblock Plus is a popular ad blocking tool in various browsers including Chrome, Safari, and Mozilla. Soon after Facebook launched its anti- adblock campaign, Adblock Plus began seeking ways to work around Facebook and remove the ads. If you use Ad Block Plus, you need to update the filter list. After updating, reload your Facebook page and the ads will vanish. Adblock Plus indicated in a blog post that they would automatically update the filters list soon.
But Facebook and Adblock Plus battles are simply a mouse and cat game. A few hours ago, Tech Crunch reported that Facebook would be updating code to its servers to display ads even in the presence of the updated Ad Block Plus. So, in simpler terms, it took Ad Block Plus 48 hours to bypass Facebook’s ads and a quarter of that time for Facebook to resume the earlier condition. This cat and mouse game is only getting better by the hour. I wonder how long before Ad Block Plus finds a way to please its loyal customers again.
But in this game, Facebook has an upper hand. Adblock Plus has to get all its users to update the extension to remove Facebook ads. But Facebook only has to inject code to its servers to have the ads back online. On Tuesday, when Facebook announced their workaround ad blockers, they simply found a way to make the ads resemble regular Facebook posts so that ad blockers would not detect them as ads. In a nutshell, Facebook can reinstate ads at any time without any input from users.
The battle between Facebook and Adblock Plus is just but a question of the legitimacy of ad blockers. Ad blockers are viewed as blunt tools by social sites and news site that heavily rely on ads for revenue. But, on the other hand, internet users use ad blockers to reduce data consumption and safeguard privacy as ads send data to advertisers. So, they are useful to internet users and enemies of site owners.