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Facebook adds more control over ads to customize and improve user experience

There’s nothing worse than loading up a website just to be redirected to an advertisement you can’t click away from. It’s annoying and it ruins your viewing experience. This is one complaint that Facebook has discovered users have regarding online advertising – so much so that many have installed ad-blocking software. With so much content moving online, advertisers need to find ways to reach users without irritating them into engaging ad blockers. And Facebook is making a move to do just that.

Updated on 08-10-2016 by Williams Pelegrin: Included information on Adblock Plus’ blog post composed in response to Facebook’s move.

The social network has spent that last few years learning about what its viewers want to see from online advertisements when it comes to content and layout. Now, it has created tools that allow users to customize their ad experience, allowing people to adjust their interests and personalize their advertising experience. There was also a need for people to eliminate advertisements from businesses and organizations that had added them to their contact lists, and Facebook has given users the ability to do that.

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In the past, the only option available was for people to block all advertisements in order to avoid seeing those that weren’t applicable or that were annoying and distracting. This new ad implementation will push ads to users even if they have ad-blocking software enabled. But Facebook hopes that by providing relevant advertisements, people will accept them as helpful in finding new products and services that are actually useful to them. In addition to the extra controls, Facebook has redesigned advertisements to integrate better with users’ online experiences without causing disruptions.

It is common practice for advertisers to pay extra to circumvent ad blocking. Facebook relies on advertising to support its free platform, which provides users with a powerful place to stay connected. Instead of taking money to allow advertisers to get around ad blocking, it believes that by changing the advertising controls, it can improve the experience for all Facebook users.

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Adblock Plus, one of the more popular ad-blockers out there, said the move “takes a dark path against user choice.”

“In any case,” Adblock’s statement continued, “it’s hard to imagine Facebook or the brands that are being advertised on its site getting any sort of value for their ad dollar here: publishers (like Facebook) alienate their audience and advertisers (the brands) allow their cherished brand name to be shoved down people’s throats,” wrote Eyeo communications and operations manager Ben Williams.

You can learn all about Facebook’s new ad controls on its official blog post, and decide whether Facebook or Adblock Plus has the better argument.