The advertising industry is not to happy about the rise of ad blockers. Now, Facebook is joining them in the fight. On Tuesday, Facebook intends to make it difficult for ad-blocking software to determine the difference between a status update and a sponsored ad on the network’s desktop version. Ad blockers remove ads from web sites. This is the first time Facebook has taken any action to deter ad blockers. Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, Facebook’s vice president of ads and business platform said, “We are making it harder for ad blockers to be effective on Facebook for desktop.”
Ad blockers have become increasingly popular as consumers grow weary of ads that drain batteries, cause pages to load slowly and sometimes risk security or privacy. The advertising industry states that ad-blocking software costs billions of dollars a year in lost revenue and violates this one agreement–people agree to view ads in exchange for free content and services. Most of Facebook’s users spend their time on the mobile app, which is largely unaffected by ad-blocking software.
Although, Facebook is tracking the rise in use. According to research firm eMarketer, 69.8 million Americans will use an ad blocker in 2016. This is a 35 percent increase from the year before. Next year, the number is expected to grow to 86.6 million. Around 90 percent of users say that the software prevents ads on the desktop. Around 30 percent use the software to block ads on smartphones. In addition, eMarketer believes that people using ad blocking software on mobile devices will go up to around 63 percent this year.
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