Good Ads, Bad Ads And The Facebook Ad Blocking Controversy

by • August 17, 2016 • Experts Talk, FacebookComments Off on Good Ads, Bad Ads And The Facebook Ad Blocking Controversy3038

While most marketers using Facebook ads rejoiced after hearing that Facebook had found a way to stop ad blockers on desktop, the news was met by dismay from users, and sarcasm and defiance from companies within the ad blocking industry. And then the discussion began… “Is it even right for ad blockers to do what they do?”

Let’s Try To Make Sense Of It All

Firstly, we must recognise that ad blocking exists for a pretty good reason. Put simply, the process of content monetisation is disruptive, and ad blockers improve a website’s user experience, allowing users to enjoy content. Website owners have every right to monetise their content by introducing ads, but in their bid to do so they do more bad than good. I am sure you know exactly what I am talking about.

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Facebook even recognises this. There are “good ads” and “bad ads”, as there are “relevant ads” and “irrelevant ads”. As Andrew BosworthVP, Ads & Business Platform at Facebook explains in a recent blog post

We’ve all experienced a lot of bad ads: ads that obscure the content we’re trying to read, ads that slow down load times or ads that try to sell us things we have no interest in buying. Bad ads are disruptive and a waste of our time.

It’s true that bad ads don’t have the results that Facebook wants. If they are irrelevant nobody clicks on them. No clicks – no conversions, right? So, Facebook also recognises the need for users to be able to control their ad experience on its platform. Thus, it gives them the opportunity to fine-tune their ad settings. And if Facebook users can control their ad experience – there is no need for an ad blocker targeting ads on the platform, right? I would argue so. Essentially, ad blockers rob Facebook of its right to make money.

People like to complain. They complain that Facebook mines their personal information and uses it to their detriment. They complain that Facebook shows them too many ads. Irrelevant ads. Yet, they use it every day, and share way too much information publicly. They use the “free” service it provides, but don’t care to give anything back. Many users will pay to use an ad blocker, but would they pay to use Facebook, or a good website?

I don’t think so.

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While there are good ads and bad ads, users on Facebook have the ability to control what they see and what they don’t see. They actually have the opportunity to tailor their experience on the platform. This is not a luxury on a majority of free sites and apps. So, why complain?

In a recent statement, a Facebook spokesperson called ad blockers “a blunt instrument”. And I agree. While they are so useful in improving user experience and punishing bad websites with bad ads, it’s not right, nor “fair” to rob good websites the opportunity to monetise their content in an unobtrusive way.

What do you think?


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