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Dear Zuckerberg: You Cannot Stop Ad Blocking. No One Can.

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You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Facebook, the biggest social media platform and one of the giants in the technology domain, that connects millions of humans with each other,  has decided to strike hard on ad blockers.

However, the multi-billion dollars company has absolutely no financial reason to justify blocking ad-blockers, but is defending itself in advance to prevent a nearly impossible future – where a majority users use ad-blockers. Like most of the internet, the virtually unlimited storage ability of Facebook works on the revenue generated through ads. Advertisers pay phenomenal amounts of money to Facebook, to be prioritized or displayed as ads and users can simply ignore those if they wish to and continue utilizing the services of Facebook for free. In theory this model works as Zuckerberg would intend – he earns truck loads of revenue and user generated content is stripped away of its copyright, utilized by Facebook in any way they want (that’s what the terms of conditions of joining Facebook clearly state).

(Image source: Pixabay)

So what’s troubling Facebook? The system has an anomaly in the form of a relief provider: ad blockers! Since the invention of the internet, users have had complete control on what they want to view on the internet. There exists no international, national or cyber law that makes ad blocking illegal. Simultaneously, there’s no law that says websites cannot have ad-block detectors to block users that utilize anti ad-blockers. Thus began the system of David vs Goliath – websites would install ad block detectors and users would counter them with anti-anti-ad blockers, and so on.

Recently, Facebook has revised some internal algorithms that may need you to re-tweak your existing ad blockers to block ads.

So what exactly is going on?

Basically, with the revised algorithms, ads are new disguised as organic content. So your existing ad blockers will most likely not block them. That’s probably why you’ve been suddenly witnessing a surge of ads all across your Facebook. Facebook has also been asking users why they’re using ad blockers in the first place and annoying users with more requests for feedback than it already does.

So ad blockers won’t work anymore?

That’s not possible from a technical standpoint. Using current programming advancement, its virtually impossible to not block ads. Every time a newer algorithm or method to block content for those using ad blockers pops up, users will find new ways to thwart those attempts. It’ll just take time and your ad blockers will be workings as before, or even better.

The thing is Facebook majority revenue doesn’t even come from desktop users

Statistically, its estimated around 86% of the total ad revenue comes from mobile users. Mobile operating systems, such as, iOS do not allow users to block ads via any method (unless you’ve jailbroken the device), although there are some browsers with inbuilt ad-blockers. So by blocking ad-blocking users, Facebook is not damaging any noticeable difference in revenue – except annoying its loyal desktop users.

Which side are you on?

There’s a perpetual debate on which side of the talk the average user should be. On one side, websites offer subscriptions to users to let them use their portal officially without ads if they pay a subscription costs. Ads basically fund everything free on the internet, and merely viewing them is profitable for businesses. On the other hand, only the user should have the right to decide what they want to view and what not. It’s not illegal; to use any means necessary to block ads from a user’s system. Ads often contain multiple forms of malware and annoyance apart from being just an eye sore.

Are you using an ad blocker right now? Why or why not? Let us know in the official comments on our official Facebook page Entrepreneur India

Edition: December 2016

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