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Is Facebook skewing paid ad metrics?

(MARKETING NEWS) Ever consider advertising with Facebook? Well, you may want to be sure that their metrics are accurate first, then jump in.

facebook problem

But they promise to fix it

Ever consider advertising with Facebook? Well, you may want to be sure that their metrics are accurate first.

After finding several other skewed statistics, Facebook announced yesterday that they plan to update their metrics and reporting in the hopes to provide clarity and build trust with current and future partners.


Past and current slips

A few months ago, many were shocked to hear that the metrics reported by Facebook regarding video views were inaccurate. Their statistics counted the amount of users watching videos, but did not specify how long they were watching. It’s not surprising to hear that a large majority of users spend less than three seconds watching a video, but the metrics showed this to be the same as someone who had viewed the entire thing.

More recently, Facebook has admitted to uncovering several other miscalculations within their metrics. In regards to Instant Articles, the amount of time users spend reading was over-reported by 7-8%.

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A bug was also found that over-estimated how many visitors view a company’s Facebook Page, by double-counting repeat visitors.

As they plan to correct this in the coming weeks, pages may see a 33-55% decrease in their 28-day reach.

What does this mean?

Companies rely heavily on metrics reported by resources like Facebook in order to track how users interact with their business online. So if the reporting isn’t accurate, how can you determine how much to spend on digital advertising? And how will you know if it is worth it?

Moving forward, Facebook realizes that communication is key.

Their updates include involving third party auditors, such as Nielsen and comScore, to verify their data, or in essence double-check insights that have been overlooked.

They are also creating a “Measurement Council” comprised of partners and clients to offer feedback on ways to improve their metrics.

Lastly, more descriptive names will be given to metrics, such as changing “video views” to “three second video views,” in order to provide full disclosure.

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Knowing that drastic shifts in consumer behavior occur often, Facebook Advertising Chief Carolyn Everson states they will, “strive to be as accurate as possible,” as they implement these updates.

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Written By

Natalie is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and co-founded an Austin creative magazine called Almost Real Things. When she is not writing, she spends her time making art, teaching painting classes and confusing people. In addition to pursuing a writing career, Natalie plans on getting her MFA to become a Professor of Fine Art.



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