- Facebook announced in a blog post Tuesday that it is expanding its third-party measurement partnerships to provide marketers on its platform with better cross-channel compatibility and third-party verification options.
- On the cross-channel front, Facebook is introducing a marketing mix modeling portal (MMM) that allows third parties to gather data directly from Facebook, Instagram and the Audience ad network for their clients. Brands may then compare which ads — on TV, digital and in print — are actually driving desired outcomes.
- For third-party verification, Facebook’s updates are five-pronged: Expanding its Nielsen partnership to include Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) metrics; expanding its comScore partnership to focus on in-target reach as opposed to raw viewability; extending video viewability on the Audience network to comScore and Integral Ad Science; completing integration of display viewability on Facebook with comScore, Integral Ad Science and Moat; and adding DoubleVerify as a its latest viewability verification partner.
Last year, Facebook hit a rocky low point in its relationship with marketers after a series of metrics flubs revealed the tech giant was failing in both accuracy and transparency in providing data to brands on its platform. In November, the company issued an extensive apology as errors continued to surface, promising to usher in a new era of transparency with marketers.
Third-party partnerships became the centerpiece of this fence-mending — Facebook previously kept much its data closer to the vest — and today’s update signals a significant expansion of the effort. Facebook now has 24 global third-party measurement partners.
The MMM portal is one of the more interesting additions, allowing marketers on Facebook to compare their success on the platform to that on other channels. If Facebook can prove it nets more "desired outcomes" from campaigns than, for example, TV, it can potentially convince brands to spend more on its service. Facebook stated that 150 brands are already utilizing this information. This may be crucial in helping drive Facebook’s overall video strategy, which has become a core focus of the company of late.
Facebook has suggested that video may take up the majority of real estate on its platform in the next few years, and it has rolled out new products such as mid-roll ads to build out monetization options in the space.
Facebook also is attempting to pivot attention away from viewability. "While viewability remains an important metric, in-target reach — the metric that media plans are built around — is critical for evaluating a campaign’s success," the company said.
The first and arguably most egregious of Facebook's measurement mistakes last year stemmed from the over-inflation of viewability on Facebook video ads by anywhere from 60% to 80%. Shifting attentions away from viewability might partially be an attempt to save face on Facebook’s part, but also shows the platform is beginning to mine for more rich data than raw reach or seconds watched.