The battle of the ad blocker and the Facebook fight back

By Simon Claassen | 03 Sep 2016

Ad blocking is probably one of the hottest topics on everyone's mind at the moment. With AdBlocker Plus launching its own Supply Side Platform (SSP) in the last week, the topic has made its way up to the top of the headlines once more.

At the heart of the issue is that users feel their user experience is being affected by slow website load times, interruption in content consumption and distracting ads. This has led to the rise of ad blockers as a way to eliminate ads and make the online user experience more enjoyable.

On the opposite end are publishers, who are losing more and more ad revenue due to the rise of ad blockers.

What most online consumers are not aware of is that advertising pays for the content they're consuming on a daily basis. No ad revenue and free content available online will start to disappear. It's predicted that publishers are set to lose USD $27 billion in ad revenue by 2020.  

Facebook, one of the world's most powerful publishers, has entered the battle of adblockers vs publishers, by adapting the code that recognises advertising content. AdBlock Plus says it has found a way around the latest code update by Facebook - thus the battle continues.

To add to this, in a seemingly hypocritical move, AdBlock Plus recently launched its own SSP. It calls it the acceptable ads platform, and allows publishers to sign up for an approval process in order for ads to be shown to users who make use of an ad blocker. The most trafficked publishers pay for whitelisting; in addition, every single ad will have to be checked. This will undoubtedly lead to a far worse user experience.

As the battle between publisher and ad blocker continues - the industry has acknowledged that something needs to change in order to address the concerns of the users but not impact the ad revenue of publishers and keep free content accessible to all.