Facebook has a bit of a bug issue.
The company just announced that it found more bugs across its mobile and desktop advertising views and data. Naturally, all of them were to Facebook’s benefit.
According to a blog post, these include its weekly and monthly page reach metric which should have been lowered by 33% and 55% respectively. The average time that is spent on an instant article was being over-reported by up to 8%, whilst referrals were overstated by 6%. In addition, the number of followers for interest list had been overstated by 5% and “video watches at 100%” should have been 35% higher than reported.
Facebook announces new ad bugs found
The latest string of error announcements follows a September error report which found that Facebook had overestimated the time users spent in watching videos by excluding views below three seconds.
The company said that these issues wouldn’t affect publisher and advertiser billing. It further announced that the issues would be sorted over the coming weeks, but they do raise some questions for many marketers who may feel that there’s a lack of transparency and objectivity among Facebook’s data measurement.
Mike Gamaroff, SVP Channel Strategy, Sito Mobile, explains:
“It’s not difficult to measure views. It’s not difficult to measure engagement. It’s not difficult to measure any ad metric. For Facebook to over-report these metrics is pretty inexcusable.”
Facebook’s advertiser base has been growing rapidly at a rate of 167,000 new advertisers per month during the first quarters this year. Many of them are smaller businesses outside of the US. It’s now more important than ever for Facebook to not lose the trust of these marketers and increase meaningful measurements across its advertising features.
It has recently partnered with viewability measurement firms Moat, IAS and comScore, and Nielsen on the publishing end. In addition, the social media network has plans to work out a Measurement Council to engage a conversation on viewability and data analytics.
Hopefully, going forward, Facebook can ensure the consistency its advertisers are looking for and ensure that metrics remain transparent and issues are reported swiftly.