Facebook mobile
Facebook has introduced new technology that will force users to see advertisements, in a bid to reduce the use of ad-blocking software.

The social network aims to tackle the increasingly popular ad-blockers, which threaten online businesses and publishers that rely on advertising revenue.

Nearly 200 million people worldwide actively use ad-blockers as of June 2015.

Andrew Bosworth, vice president of Facebook’s advertising, said in a blog post: “When they’re relevant and well-made, ads can be useful, helping us find new products and services and introducing us to new experiences.

“But because ads don’t always work this way, many people have started avoiding certain websites or apps, or using ad blocking software, to stop seeing bad ads”.

Although Facebook generates the majority of its revenue from mobiles (87%), where ad-blockers do not usually work, it is now ensuring its desktop adverts cannot be affected either.

Users will now be able to choose which adverts they don’t want to see depending on personal preference and interests.

He added: “As we offer people more powerful controls, we’ll also begin showing ads on Facebook desktop for people who currently use ad blocking software”.

Mr Bosworth explained how ad-blocking companies show adverts that have previously been blocked by users in exchange for money and highlighted how this threatens free services such as journalism funded by advertising.

He added: “Facebook is one of those free services, and ads support our 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 we show — as some of these companies have invited us to do in the past — we’re putting control in people’s hands with our updated ad preferences and our other advertising controls”.

Serena Kutchinsky, digital editor at Newsweek said: “Ad blocking software has been causing serious problems for publishers over the past year, and now it seems Facebook, which also relies on online advertising revenue, also has the fear.

“The tech giant’s decision to not only introduce software which will disguise ads on its desktop service from ad-blockers, but to also empower users to choose the types of adverts they see by selecting preferred brands and businesses is potentially game changing.

“They are firing a warning shot at ad blockers, while demonstrating that they understand how annoying and intrusive ads can be. Let’s hope the rest of the publishing industry takes note.”