Ad-blocking does not stand a chance against Facebook, according to a leading voice in “respectable advertising”.

Research released by PageFair on February 1 shows that 615 million devices worldwide were blocking ads in 2016 – 11 per cent of the global internet population. The figure grew by 30pc between December 2015 and December 2016 and 62pc of the 615m was made up of mobile users.

Dr Johnny Ryan is head of ecosystem at Dublin-based PageFair, a tech firm which displays respectful, secure and private ads that are unaffected by ad-blocking. Publishers use their normal ad servers to show ads to most users and use PageFair to show ads to users on the blocked web.

He told BusinessCloud that 16 per cent of desktop users in the UK are using ad-blocking technology, which the founder of one digital agency has described as reaching "shocking" proportions.

PageFair’s research showed that 74pc of users said they would leave websites with adblock walls, which bar users until they disable their adblocker.

“We see growth continuing since our first data release in 2013 – ad-blocking is not going away,” he said. 

PageFair founder and chief executive Sean Blanchfield has said the rise in ad-blocking tells a sobering story about the future viability of ad-funded media and journalism in developing economies.

His firm’s stated mission is to sustain the open web by re-establishing a fair deal between users and content creators.

READ MORE: Are social media ads intrusive or indispensable?

In August, Facebook announced it would begin showing adverts for those who used ad-blocking software on desktop, making them look like natural content so they bypassed the blockers.

“Facebook has responded to ad-blocking by listening to its user problems, fixing those issues with its ads, and then displaying them in a tamper proof way,” Ryan added. “It has now figured out how to do so.

“The tug of war was brief, and lasted only while Facebook learned how to properly display ads in a way that ad-blocking companies could not tamper with.” 

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