Facebook reveals fourth major metrics mishap
- ComScore recently informed Facebook that its iPhone traffic for publisher Instant Articles was being underreported, according to a Facebook blog post.
- Per Facebook, the issue impacted traffic in comScore products from Sept. 20 to Nov. 30 this year. IPad and Android traffic were not affected.
- Facebook claims to have "fixed the issue" and has reached out to the group of affected publishers.
For digital marketers and publishers alike, credibility and assurance that performance metrics are correct for media spaces where they direct their spend is vital. Industry reports now suggest some 44% of U.S. adults turn to Facebook as a primary source for news, with Instant Articles being the essential mobile offering on the platform. Facebook has long kept its cards close to its chest in terms of providing reach metrics and data for offerings like Instant Articles, but the company has repeatedly shown in 2016 that this is an area where it severely lacks competence.
The Instant Articles underreporting comes as the fourth major metrics mishap for the company in as many months: In September, it was revealed the company had overinflated video viewability metrics by anywhere from 60% to 80% since 2014; in November, Facebook publicly apologized for miscalculating organic page reach and just two weeks ago the social network admitted it had been misallocating data for its Live streaming feature.
Facebook suggested there would be a new era of transparency with marketers, publishers and advertisers following the November revelations, but continued failures to properly account for data might do little to allay concerns at the moment. It's an issue Facebook must continue to address clearly heading into next year, as digital advertising supplies the majority of its revenue.