Continuing its efforts to serve as a sanctuary for news outlets, battered by blogs and ad blockers, Facebook has found a way to ensure more users actually see the ads in the stories they love to like and share. And while the company has found a way to beat ad-blockers, it’s promising you more control over the content advertisers pay for you to see.
It’s a technical change. Facebook’s engineers are retooling the way Facebook renders ads to make it difficult for ad-blocking tools to discern between ads and other content you see on the social networking site. Ad-blockers scan the HTML code of content in search of lines that indicate whether media is organic or sponsored content. So Facebook’s solution entails rendering those lines so that ad-blockers can’t tell the difference between paid post and organic content.
Worse than blocking ads and starving publications of their primary streams of revenue, some ad-blocking service will take money in exchange for letting specific ads slip through the net and onto your screen. And that siphons “the funding needed to support the journalism and other free services” like Facebook itself. So instead of being extorted to have its ads shown, Facebook is firing back with this latest move. But instead of just forcing you so see more ads, it wants to address the reason it believes you hate sponsored content so much — it’s often irrelevant.
Along with its retooling of the way the site renders ads, Facebook is expanding its Ads menu preferences to ensure that you can at least endure the marketing content that’s thrown at you on your way to get to the good stuff. Without getting into how this will help Facebook build an even better profile of who you are and what you like, these changes continue the company’s campaign of ensuring journalism doesn’t drown in the digital age.
What do you think of these changes? Do you find this strategy a major turn off that will keep you from using Facebook, or are ads just the price web users should pay for otherwise free content? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments.