Over the past few months there has been a lot of debate regarding online advertising models. Ad blockers are becoming more prominent on all devices, forcing site owners to rethink their revenue models. But Facebook has come up with a different type of solution, as they introduced a workaround for Adblock Plus and other tools. As a result, their desktop ad revenue grew by 18 percent.
Facebook Trumps Ad Blocker Software With Workaround
Forcing platform owners, enterprises, and content creators to rethink online advertising will not happen overnight. It is lucrative to host banner ads on one’s site, either from dedicated sponsors or Google Adsense. Despite ad blockers becoming more common, the revenue gains are still worth it for most ventures.
Social networks, however, have to look at things from an entirely different perspective. Companies such as Facebook make most of their money from ad revenue, and taking that away from them is not as straightforward as initially assumed. In fact, the company introduced a workaround that still shows ads to desktop users who have ad blocking software installed.
Taking the fight to ad blockers may seem like a step backward, but it is not entirely surprising. Facebook came up with a few to show ads despite Adblock Plus developers’ best efforts. Moreover, no one can force the company not to show ads, since it is part of their terms of service. That said, the bigger issue is how ads can track consumer behavior on the Internet, which is a far bigger concern than the number of eyeballs on a banner.
The battle between social platforms and ad blocking software developers is far from over, though. Adblock Plus managed to circumvent Facebook’s artificial tricks more than once, and they will do so again in the future. It is very unlikely that the company will change its advertising strategy anytime soon, as there is no point in fixing something that isn’t broken.
Given the recent shift to mobile, desktop ad revenue remains vital to Facebook. In Q3 of 2016, desktop ad revenue equaled to 16% of all earnings. Such a high number should not be ignored by any means, as it helped push the quarterly earnings to US$1.1bn, up from US$998m in the same period last year.
There will always be a discussion about whether or not showing ads can be forced upon users. In most cases, the honest answer would be “no,” but things are not as black-and-white in real life. Facebook has a team of engineers working on circumventing ad blocks around the clock, and they will continue to do for the foreseeable future.
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