Facebook vs AdBlock Plus: Is This a Fair Fight?

Facebook is in a rather heated fight with AdBlock right now. AdBlock makes ad-blocking software that blocks ads on Facebook (and on other sites). The company has millions of users and a lot of those users do not want to see ads on Facebook in any manner.

Facebook recently made it impossible for AdBlock to work on the social site - but AdBlock retaliated with AdBlock Plus. AdBlock Plus still effectively blocks all ads on Facebook. Which company will win this battle and which one is right? Here’s a closer look.

The Facebook Business

Facebook is first and foremost a business. Facebook is in business to make a profit. The company makes at least a portion of its revenue from advertisements, more ads mean more profits. Consumers love Facebook because it provides a valuable service and it’s free. Without the revenue from the advertisements, the company would probably not be able to function as it does - or it would have to make up the revenue elsewhere. So when a company like AdBlock comes around and interferes with Facebook’s revenue stream, a fight is bound to happen.

The AdBlock Stance

AdBlock is also a company. AdBlock is in the business of blocking ads. This service immediately puts them at odds with companies like Facebook, thereby creating a tug-of-war. Quite ironically, AdBlock makes money from its list of ‘acceptable advertisers.’ Those advertisers pay to place ads on the AdBlock site and users do see those ads. AdBlock charges advertisers on its ‘white list’ a fee on top of the ad placement fee depending on clicks earned through the site.

Two of the Same (Kind Of)

So both companies make money from advertisements. But only Facebook is marked as the ‘bad guy’ in this case. Netizens are willing to use AdBlock Plus and view AdBlock’s ads in order to block the ads on Facebook. For some reason, Internet users are okay with AdBlock’s ads and not okay with those placed on Facebook.

Oddly Enough

It’s hard to understand why some people think that Facebook should be a free service that does not earn revenue through advertising, but there are two possible outcomes in this battle. Facebook could give in to Netizens and get rid of advertisements (this would force the company to seek revenue streams elsewhere). This is not very likely.

Or, Facebook can fight back and explain to its public that the company makes money through advertising (and so the site would not be free were those ads pulled). Right now, Facebook is fighting back by blocking any new software that AdBlock creates. This is the more likely scenario. There’s little doubt that AdBlock will not continue to make adjustments to block Facebook ads as well.

In our opinion, both companies have the right to make money from advertisements, but Facebook has to show the public why ads are needed or risk losing income generated from the site.