Facebook announced this week its intention to show ads to users even if they have an ad blocker installed. The social network said it would change the way advertising is loaded into its website to make ad units more difficult for ad blockers to detect.
Shortly after the announcement, ad blocking software company Adblock Plus released a workaround that was said to still remove ads on Facebook. Facebook quickly provided code that prevented the workaround from Adblock Plus. Since then, the two companies have participated in a cat-and-mouse game of fixes and bypasses.
Industry experts shared their thoughts with ExchangeWire on this recent news, including Sourcepoint CEO Ben Barokas, who applauded Facebook’s decision to shine a much-needed spotlight on the issue. However, Barokas said further debate and cooperation was needed to find a suitable path forward.
The number of adults in the UK using ad blockers has not changed significantly since February 2016, according to the latest IAB quarterly report, issued by YouGov. Data revealed that a slight increase in usage among women has been offset by a decline among men, however, 18-24 year olds remain the most likely demographic to use an ad blocker.
Interestingly, the survey showed more than 1 in 5 consumers who claim to use an ad blocker had confused it with anti-virus software or claimed to use ad blockers that don’t exist.
Source: IAB UK
As ad block adoption continues to rise, Sourcepoint General Manager Thomas Mendrina addressed the industry’s search for a one-size-fits-all solution to ad blocking, comparing it to a quest for the ‘Holy Grail’.
Mendrina said no such solution exists; rather a sustainable way forward must include a range of options — messaging, micropayments, and subscription — instead of a single method.
In a MediaPost column, Sourcepoint CEO Ben Barokas explored the heavy-handed effects of ad blockers on publishers, which hinder publisher revenue equally, regardless of whether they offer their users a high-quality ad experience.
Barokas encouraged premium publishers to engage in transparent dialogue with users about compensation preferences to regain some of the control of user experiences that have been captured by ad blockers.