- Facebook will begin labeling some metrics in Ads Manager as “estimated” or “in development” in an effort to provide greater clarity on how the metrics are calculated and how marketers should be using them, a Facebook Business blog post announced. The labels will appear in the tool tips section for Ads Manager’s reporting table and in the customize column selector for ads that run on Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network.
- Estimated metrics, calculated based on sampling or modeling, provide guidance for outcomes that are difficult to quantify exactly. In development metrics may be new or in testing and can evolve as Facebook improves ad products and measurement methodologies.
- In July, Facebook said it will remove about 20 ad metrics that marketers have said are redundant, outdated, not actionable or infrequently used, such as the metric showing the number of people who saw an ad, which marketers have said isn’t much different from the reach metric. Finally, the company will introduce a new free education program called Measure What Matters that has two tracks — one focused on branding objectives and the other on direct marketing.
Facebook’s new metrics labeling tools are a step toward more transparency, as the social network is clarifying how its ads are measured and the meaning of its various measurement tools. The changes come after several discrepancies in its data were reported last year, causing marketers to lose some trust in the social platform’s reporting tactics. The errors included Facebook underestimating video advertising metrics and how likes and shares were counted on mobile. Bowing to pressure from marketers for useful and transparent metrics, Facebook underwent an audit by the Media Rating Council and has announced a number of changes over the past year.
Since Facebook announced plans to remove publishers’ and marketers’ News Feed posts in favor of posts from users’ friends, many advertisers have been speculating on what it will truly mean for their marketing strategies. Many have speculated that the price of ads will go up since the platform estimated that the number of users on the site would decline. As marketers attempt to redefine their Facebook strategies to accommodate the algorithm changes, the new metrics labeling will help marketers better target ads and determine which campaigns are working.
With big advertising spenders like P&G calling out digital marketing — which is dominated by Facebook and Google — for a lack of metrics standardization and transparency, Facebook and others are looking to make their metrics more useful to brands so as not to lose advertising revenue. Facebook's latest move could help marketers better target their campaigns and understand the effectiveness of their campaigns on Facebook, so that they can focus on the data that is most meaningful to them. Facebook has said that it will continue to evolve its metrics to meet marketers’ needs.