Fresh from tackling rampant clickbait, Facebook is now setting sights on renovating ads on your News Feed – creating more helpful ads, but also circumventing your ad blocker.
Announced today, Facebook’s new Ad Preferences menu grants you the control to choose only ads that are useful and relevant to you. For example, if your love of cats has resulted in fewer cute kitten videos and more more annoying advertisements for cat litter, you can drop it from your Preferences.
You can also remove your name from customer lists that are no longer relevant to you, making room for sandwich specials at the local deli you’ve been meaning to check out instead of constant reminders about Zumba Wednesdays at the gym you visited, like, once back when you were in college.
This power comes at a cost, however. Ads on the desktop version of Facebook will still show up regardless of any ad-blocking software that may be in use.
How that works wasn’t clarified, but Facebook claims it is not paying ad-blocking services to make exceptions – a common practice used by other major ad-supported companies, Engadget reports.
According to Facebook, the primary reason folks turn to ad blockers is "to stop annoying, disruptive ads." In addition to Ad Preferences, the company is redesigning how ads are formatted on the site so it can cut down on the errant commercials in favor of ads you might actually use.
While ad revenue is the lifeblood that allows free sites like Facebook to exist, offering control over what ads those users see – and ensuring those ads don’t overstep their boundaries – could be a helpful compromise for both parties.