Facebook issues extensive apology as more metrics mistakes surface

Dive Brief:

  • Facebook revealed in a blog post today a number of new metrics miscalculations that reach across ad offerings and are in addition to the previously revealed issue of overstated video views. 
  • The social media giant also outlined a number of steps it is taking to rectify the issues, including increasing third-party verification, building more measurement solutions with clients, the launch of a Metric FYI blog and clarification of metrics. Facebook is also working with advertisers to form a Measurement Council. 
  • The newly revealed miscalculations include overstating 7-day and 28-day organic page reach; the undercounting of video watches at 100%; and over-reporting the average time spent per Instant Article by 7% to 8%. Facebook said it does not bill clients on these potential under-reporting and over-reporting metric issues. 

Dive Insight:

Today’s mea culpa shows Facebook clearly wants to deliver the message to marketers that it is taking measurement and metrics seriously. By being transparent about miscalculations and laying out the steps it is taking to address them, the company hopes to end any erosion in trust that has taken place since it was revealed that video views had been overstated. This is a critical move, as advertising is Facebook’s main revenue stream by a significant margin.

The steps announced today appear to significantly advance Facebook’s efforts in metrics, a move that may give it an advantage as Snapchat and other social media platforms vie for a bigger share of ad dollars. However, Facebook so far does not appear to answer the demands by industry groups that it have its video metrics accredited by a third-party, such as the Media Ratings Council.

As digital platforms grow quickly, advertisers are demanding new formats, and investors are expecting strong monetization strategies. The issues at Facebook and other platforms suggest that the growth may have at times come at the expense of having a clear strategy for metrics. However, as digital becomes a bigger portion of marketers’ spend, companies are increasingly demanding meaningful insight into how their investments are performing.

“Our goal going forward is to communicate more regularly about our metrics, so that our partners can focus on doing what they do best - serving their customers - with the best insights possible,” the blog post stated. 

Filed Under: Social Media Video Analytics Corporate News
Top image credit: Facebook