Facebook’s ads have been defeated (again) by Adblock Plus work-around

330t

How your Facebook feed should look with the new filter, according to Adblock Plus
Photo by: Adblock Plus

Two days ago Facebook had taken steps “the dark path,” and decided to start forcing ad-blocking users to see ads on its desktop site. We promised that the open source community would have a solution very soon, and, frankly, they’ve beaten even our own expectations. A new filter was added to the main EasyList about 15 minutes ago. You’ll just need to update your filter lists (see below for how).

If you want to manually add the filter, here is the code you need:

facebook.com##DIV[id^="substream_"] ._5jmm[data-dedupekey][data-cursor][data-xt][data-xt-vimpr="1"][data-ftr="1"][data-fte="1"]

As many of your know, the filter lists that “tell” Adblock Plus what to block are in fact the product of a global community of web citizens. This time that community seems to have gotten the better of even a giant like Facebook.

So apparently, you don’t want no problems with the ad-blocking community … (Just kidding, Big Z … please don’t destroy me with your blue and white drones).

What you need to do to start re-blocking ads on Facebook

Update your filter lists now. If you don’t know how to do that, here is a tutorial. That’s it. Now just go to Facebook on your desktop, and things should go back to normal.

… or just wait for a day or so, then the filter list will be updated automatically.

This is still a cat-and-mouse game

Facebook might “re-circumvent” at any time. As we wrote in the previous post, this sort of back-and-forth battle between the open source ad-blocking community and circumventers has been going on since ad blocking was invented; so it’s very possible that Facebook will write some code that will render the filter useless — at any time. If that happens, the ad-blocking community will likely find another workaround, then Facebook might circumvent again, etc.

Also, you should be aware that this filter has not been heavily tested, so if you think it’s blocking more/less than it should let us/EasyList know.

But for this round of the cat-and-mouse contest, looks like the mouse won.

Read More

Bridgepoint Development Capital to acquire CRUISE.co.uk in transaction totalling £52 million

CRUISE.co.uk, the specialist online travel agent serving the UK ocean cruise market, is to be acquired by Bridgepoint Development Capital from Risk Capital Partners in a transaction totalling £52 million.

Originally part of Carnival Corporation from which it spun out in 2007, the company is based in the Midlands, employs 170 people and is the leading online player in its space thanks to a strongly differentiated proposition and its content driven website and highly personal customer service. It also has a market-leading social media presence and online cruise review forum with over 110,000 members and 17 million web visits per annum.

The business has demonstrated strong growth, delivering sales and EBITDA CAGR of 23% and 30% respectively over the last three years.  In 2015 turnover grew by 15% to £104.5 million.  The company also enjoys industry leading repeat rates of business.

The UK ocean cruise market is the second largest globally (after the US) whose value is forecast to grow from £2.5 billion in 2015 to £3.0 billion in 2019 and has been resilient across cycles. The market benefits from several favourable demand and supply characteristics that include a growing customer demographic with increasing wealth, life expectancy and propensity to travel, as well as an increasing supply of cruises from cruise lines themselves.

Adrian Willetts, partner of Bridgepoint Development Capital, said: “CRUISE.co.uk is an opportunity to invest in a market leading consumer business that has shown strong defensive characteristics and benefits from strong market trends that will underpin its ambitious growth plans. It has grown impressively and we will seek to maintain and enhance its trusted expert reputation as we work with management to accelerate business growth through acquisitions and drive further value through digital and marketing expertise.”

Seamus Conlon, CRUISE.co.uk‘s managing director, added: “We’re delighted to welcome Bridgepoint as a new partner and shareholder to help us take our business forward in its next stage of development. Their financial and operational expertise will power our ambitions, particularly as we look to expand internationally.”

Senior debt financing for the transaction was provided by Royal Bank of Scotland. Advisers involved included: for Bridgepoint – KPMG (Corporate finance, tax, financial diligence), Eversheds (legal), OC&C (commercial), Intuitus (IT), ERM (ESG), Marsh (insurance) and White Hart Associates (regulatory); for the vendor (Risk Capital Partners) – BDO (corporate finance), CMS (legal), Armstrong (commercial), and Deloitte (financial); for management – Altium.

Read More