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Facebook is going to show you ads and there’s nothing you can do about it

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David Cornish
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"We've all experienced a lot of bad ads," writes Facebook's vice president of Ads & Business Platform Andrew Bosworth in a recent blog post. "Ads that obscure the content we’re trying to read, ads that slow down load times or ads that try to sell us things we have no interest in buying. Bad ads are disruptive and a waste of our time."

As such, Facebook is doing two pretty major things: it's giving users greater controls over the ads that they see, and it's going to break your ad blocker.

  • Facebook is going to show you ads and there's nothing you can do about it

    But how?

    In the near future, if you're accessing Facebook from your desktop computer, you won't be able to block ads. Zip. Zilch. Not a thing. 

    It's because ads will no longer sit as a separate batch of code within the structure of Facebook. Blockers thus won't be able to distinguish between a post from your friend about why they really hate Paul from accounts, and an ad that 'lives' within the same feed.

  • Facebook is going to show you ads and there's nothing you can do about it 1

    But why?

    Two reasons:

    The first is that the new structure will help users narrow down which adverts they actually want to see - which is what everyone wants, isn't it? All this restructuring will give you greater control over things. If you don't need ads about cat food, you can block them. If you don't want to know about a new credit card offer, you can turn them off. In their place, you'll get an ad you might be interested in, like pizza. We all love pizza.

    Secondly, it will help Facebook - which is a free service - convince a bunch more advertisers to take up its services. Many free websites suffer from ad blockers undermining their main revenue stream; advertisers won't be inclined to pay for ad space if they realise most people who use your website use an ad blocker. By ensuring every advert on Facebook is actually visible - and unblockable - Facebook will do wonders for convincing advertisers to sign up. 

    "We also know there’s more work to do, and we’re continually listening to your feedback to make advertising better for everyone," said Bosworth, so if you don't like the sound of unblockable ads, go tell him. 

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David Cornish

Shortlist.com’s esteemed Tech Editor. David has a keen interest in video games, Star Wars and stuff that runs on batteries.

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