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

faceook ad policies discrimination facebook ads
rawpixel/123RF
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.

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.

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.

News

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.
Gaming

These awesome free-to-play games might be even better than the ones you paid for

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.
Mobile

These are the key settings to change on the LG G8 ThinQ smartphone

The LG G8 ThinQ is finally available. There are a lot of settings turned off by default that may be useful in improving the experience of using the phone. We've rounded up 11 key settings for you to change on the G8.
Gaming

Here are the best games to play with your friends on the Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch's hybrid design adds convenience to your gaming time, allowing you to play Switch games both at home and on the go. The design also benefits multiplayer experiences, from co-op to competitive and online to offline.
Social Media

Twitter’s experimental Twttr app is even more popular than the real thing

Twttr, the new app that lets regular Twitter users test new features, is proving more popular than the main app, according to the company. The revelation suggests some of the innovations may land for all Twitter users soon.
Social Media

Messenger and Facebook, together again? Facebook tests integrating chats

Longing for the old days where Facebook and Messenger were one app? Facebook is testing an integrated chat option. While Messenger remains more feature-rich, the test brings some chat functionality back into the Facebook app.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Social Media

How to download Instagram Stories on iOS, Android, and desktop

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Mobile

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.