Over the past several months, Facebook has drastically ramped up its advertising and data collection campaign, the core of the company's revenue model.
In May, the social media company announced its intentions to track and serve ads to users even if they don't have an account on the site. Now, in an attempt to force the proliferation of marketing and advertisements to all of its users, Facebook has announced that it is modifying the digital signature of ads on its website so they are displayed to all users - even those running an ad-blocker.
Facebook justified the move by saying it had begun offering "more powerful tools" which let users control the content of advertisements they see, ostensibly allowing users to cater ads to their interests.
We’ve designed our ad formats, ad performance and controls to address the underlying reasons people have turned to ad blocking software. When we asked people about why they used ad blocking software, the primary reason we heard was to stop annoying, disruptive ads. As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software.
In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook's vice president of its ads and business platform, described the issue as a matter of principle.
"Facebook is ad-supported. Ads are a part of the Facebook experience; they’re not a tack on,” said Bosworth. "This isn’t motivated by inventory; it’s not an opportunity for Facebook from that perspective. We’re doing it more for the principle of the thing. We want to help lead the discussion on this."
Although Facebook says it hopes the switch will make it too costly and time-intensive for developers of ad-blocking software to code in a fix to the issue, users may see a convenient workaround to the display of Facebook ads in the future.