As was expected after Facebook went public, the company is creating advertising space on its pages while doing away with annoys clickbait headlines. The company is now committed to eliminating clickbait methods and using advertising content that would remain undetected by ad-block software such as Ghsotery. The proposed strategy would also be immune to URL blocking mechanisms as well as settings that disable Flash videos from running on the browser automatically.
How does Facebook plan to do this? Simple—by cloaking advertising content in a way that makes it look similar to regular news feed content such as photos and status updates. As reported by the New York Times, the policy has already been executed. This has created a new challenge for ad blockers which will have to be adjusted to scan data contents instead of identifying the file type. Facebook’s management defends the new strategy on the grounds that Facebook is a free service and therefore it should be entitled to generate revenue through advertising.
The management claims that a few ad blocking companies actually allow websites to place advertisements if paid the right price. Decrying this practice, the management supports the policy of placing advertisements on social networking websites so that quality services can be provided to users. Without the revenue coming in from advertising, websites like Facebook would be unable to sustain a viable business model. Advertising allows Facebook to provide useful services to its users.
The new policy includes giving users greater autonomy over choosing the ads they want to see. This will reduce the utility of ad blockers in the first place. Users will be able to set their ad viewing preferences by selecting or removing topics from the advertisement settings.
Facebook anticipates that the new policy will improve the overall experience of social media users. Clickbait content will be removed and users will only be exposed to advertising that suits their interests. Content that users are not interested in will not show up on their browser. From Facebook’s perspective, a more targeted approach to online advertising will increase the return on investment since only relevant users will view the ads.