A recent revelation has been online advertisers acknowledging public disapproval of their strategies. They’ve stated that they will need to make the ad experience rewarding for the consumer. They’ve also mentioned that it will take time to change things, yet they deride and punish ad blocker users with paywalls or content restriction. The usual suspects have been news sites or content aggregators, like Forbes or Wired. Now the big dogs are involved. Facebook is now claiming that their ads are unblockable.
Facebook has tried to make their ad experience less noticeable. For some time now, users have seen ads for companies whose pages a few friends like rather than one that relies solely on targeting, but it’s only putting lipstick on a pig. None of these ads are the revolutionary user-friendly experiences that advertisers have alluded to creating. In an ideal world where Facebook’s unblockable ads have permanence, this would only reset the bounds of the argument and allow users to once again become frustrated.
Google’s AMP initiative at least has a defined goal: to keep ads from harming loading speeds and revising how ads are served. This refreshing of online advertising still has yet to be defined, as Silicon Valley has the resources to wage a war of attrition against us and win, but they are competing against consumer attitudes rather than ad blockers. Consumers are aware of how morally corrupt online advertising is, so beating people over the head with uncompromised capitalism is only going to cause trouble.
In fact, ad blockers–both on home computers and mobile devices–have achieved symbiosis with the open source community. With many circumvention breakthroughs, what’s been good for the goose has been good for the gander. Ad blocking apps, plugins, and browsers are all guaranteed to make use of some type of open source tools. This is a peaceful environment for all involved, and from our experience, users have even felt inclined to help us out of good nature. Maybe the real battle is ideological; corporatism versus individualism.
Over the course of writing this article, Facebook’s ads have already been circumvented. We are making progress on a fix ourselves. Coming from us, it is always a game of chess with the biggest online platforms, and the ad blocking community will never face an insurmountable challenge. To take control over how you browse on your Android phone, download AdClear. It’s free, and it blocks encrypted ads, primarily used on major sites like Facebook. We also recently released the AdClear Lite extension for Safari and Samsung Browser.
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