Well that was quick: yesterday we told you that Adblock Plus had rolled out new filters intending to stop Facebook’s new desktop ads, but now just a few hours later, Facebook has hit back. Facebook has apparently implemented code to combat Adblock’s workaround, striking back with a speed that even puts the Adblock Plus community’s original answer to these desktop ads to shame.
Facebook hasn’t directly confirmed the roll out of this new code, but a source close to the company told TechCrunch that it was being implemented just a few short hours after Adblock Plus originally announced its workaround. Assuming that’s true, Facebook likely had an answer to the new Adblock Plus filters before most users even received them, as Adblock Plus said yesterday that it would take about a day for filters to update automatically and begin hiding Facebook’s desktop ads.
For what it’s worth, Adblock Plus definitely expected an answer to its new filters, saying in its announcement that this is ultimately a cat-and-mouse game. We’re guessing Adblock Plus didn’t expect Facebook to strike back so quickly, but now the ball is in the court of Adblock’s community of users – they managed to implement a workaround in about two days time after these desktop ads were announced, but we’ll see how quickly they can come up with an answer this time around.
In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook pointed out that ad-blocking software is “punishing” users, as it blocks not only these new advertisements, but also posts from friends and followed Pages – content users would presumably still like to see. “This isn’t a good experience for people and we plan to address the issue,” Facebook said. “Ad blockers are a blunt instrument, which is why we’ve instead focused on building tools like ad preferences to put control in people’s hands.”
Stay tuned, because the back-and-forth between Facebook and Adblock Plus is likely far from over.