Facebook oversteps Adblock, doubles desktop ad revenue in Q3

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Social networking giant Facebook has doubled its desktop ad revenue year-over-year in Q3 to 18 percent, from around 9 percent in previous quarters, and thwarting ad blockers was largely the cause for that boost.


“That acceleration in desktop revenue growth is largely due to ourefforts on reducing the impact of ad blocking. So that’s what led to the acceleration of desktop revenue growth,” Facebook CFO David Wehner said in a live webcast of Facebook's earnings conference call.

While Adblock Plus announced it would circumvent the ban, and temporarily did, Facebook nullified that change and has managed to keep ads flowing through Adblock Plus. Facebook’s position is that ads help pay for operating its service, so it’s reasonable to force users to see them as long as they’re not too interruptive.

Adblock Plus and some users counter that Facebook’s ads are still distracting even if they blend into the feed. And they say that ad blockers help prevent people from being tracked, which raises privacy concerns.

Facebook makes 84 percent of its ad revenue on mobile; desktop still contributed a meaningful amount to its total $7.01 billion in Q3 revenue. It hit $1.1 billion this quarter, up from $998 million last quarter. While scoring ad revenue from ad blocker users could help offset the reductions in revenue growth Facebook expects now that it’s hitting maximum ad load.