As more and more content has shifted to the internet, online experiences have improved dramatically, becoming more immersive and intuitive. But many digital ads haven’t kept up. We’ve all experienced a lot of bad ads: ads that obscure the content we’re trying to read, ads that slow down load times or ads that try to sell us things we have no interest in buying. Bad ads are disruptive and a waste of our time.
Now Facebook has announced some changes to help with this problem. First, it is expanding the tools to give people some control over their advertising experience. Second, it is also providing an update on its approach to ad blocking.
For the past few years Facebook has been working to better understand people’s concerns with online ads. As a result they have introduced tools to help people control their experience, improved how it decides which ads to show and created new ad formats that complement, rather than detract from, people’s experience online.
With this announcement, Facebook is making ad preferences easier to use, so you can stop seeing certain types of ads. If you don’t want to see ads about a certain interest like travel or cats, you can remove the interest from your ad preferences. These improvements are designed to give people even more control over how their data informs the ads they see.
Though some ad blocking companies accept money in exchange for showing ads that they previously blocked — a practice that is at best confusing to people and that reduces the funding needed to support the journalism and other free services that we enjoy on the web. Facebook is one of those free services, and ads support its mission of giving people the power to share and making the world more open and connected. Rather than paying ad blocking companies to unblock the ads it shows — as some of these companies have invited it to do in the past — Facebook is putting control in people’s hands with updated ad preferences and our other advertising controls.