You’re not imagining things; your Facebook feed has a lot more ads. To make a profit, the company needs you to click them, so the ads have become much more prominent and invasive. But is there anything you can do to tame Facebook ads?
Facebook’s Built-In Controls – Not Great
We’ve trained ourselves not to see the ads on the right side of the Facebook page, but when they appear in your newsfeed, it’s much harder to ignore them. The bad news: Facebook has no built-in tools to completely remove them from the newsfeed. If you find one ad repetitive or offensive, there is a drop-down menu on the upper righthand corner of the post that lets you indicate “I don’t want to see this,” but in future newsfeeds, you’ll just get an ad from another company. There are, however a few ways to rid yourself of the ads outside Facebook’s controls.
Social Fixer is a browser add-on (software that attaches to your browser and works with it) that gives you a ton of features to manage Facebook. It can strip out most “sponsored stories” or in-line newsfeed ads. In my experience, it takes a while to ‘teach’ it what you don’t like by clicking ‘block’ on all the types of posts you don’t want to see. And a few sponsored posts do slip through, but it is a great and free tool. Facebook seems to be in a cat-and-mouse game with the software, so occasionally it will get glitchy, but it’s well worth your time and does help tame the ads.
It also has a ton of other features too numerous to name, but the most powerful are blocking specific types of posts (filter out all political posts from “Friend Z” but let you see the cute pics of his kids; filter out all game-related posts from “Cousin K” but let you see all her other status updates), it highlights new comments in a thread, enlarges pictures you hover over, and even tells you when someone has unfriended you.
If you really want to get serious about blocking ads, install AdBlock Plus. This browser add-on scours all the pages you load (not just Facebook) and removes ads. On my Facebook feed, it removed four sponsored stories and two ads in a day’s worth of stories. AdBlock does slow down page loading times, which became a little onerous when I was trying to click quickly around text articles on a news site. It also strips out the pre-roll on some videos and banner/sidebar advertising on many sites. Yes, we here at Yahoo make our living off advertising, but you asked how to get rid of ads on Facebook, and this is a tool that works.
Simple Solutions for Your Friends
If you aren’t interested in add-on software, awareness is a good tool. There will almost always be an ad in the first three or four postsin your newsfeed. Train yourself to expect it and gloss over it.
Finally, don’t become an accidental spokesperson. Facebook loves to use your “likes” to get your friends’ attention: “Becky likes Country Outfitter,” “Becky likes One King’s Lane,” so if you don’t want your name used in this way, go into “Account Settings," then “Ads,” then "Ads and Friends,” and where it says “Pair my social actions with ads for…” click "No One" to opt out of social ads completely. This prevents your name from showing up associated with ads in other people’s feeds.
And if you have friends who are over-likers, please share this story. Your friends will thank you for it!