The recently-uncovered Facebook misreported metrics involve the allocation of Reactions on Live Video, and the total number of engagements the company has reported on off-site links. The link engagement metric itself surfaced, in part, due to an investigation by Buzzfeed over fake news articles & their significant visibility during the 2016 presidential election.
The count discrepancy in off-site link engagement, as illustrated in the below image shared by MarketingLand, is one that Facebook has described as still under investigation. The company claims that their Graph API is to blame; reportedly, the engagement count gets screwy when users copy/paste a link into their mobile app’s search bar & Like/Share from this view.
For Live Video, Facebook is reporting that there will be a “reallocation” of where ‘Reactions on Post’ will occur for new videos starting mid-month. In this instance, the total Reactions Facebook was counting were correct; however, multiple Reactions per user past the first one where being counted towards ‘Reactions from Shares of Post’ in Page Insights. Facebook won’t be going back and correcting previous Live Videos’ metrics, and the company says that ‘Reactions on Post’ could increase by about 500% on average, while ‘Reactions from Shares of Post’ may drop by up to 25%.
Though this latest round of Facebook misreporting metrics doesn’t have much of a direct impact on advertisers, it doesn’t do anything to allay concerns amongst brands, either. As you will recall, just three months ago, Facebook uncovered issues with the way it was counting video views; and less than one month ago, the social network divulged additional metric miscalculations, including organic reach & time spent viewing Instant Articles.