Facebook Reveals More Reporting Flaws; Announces Significant Measurement Updates

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Facebook revealed on Wednesday it had found miscalculations within several existing ad metrics—just one of the significant announcements made by the company regarding their display & video ad products.

This time around, the Facebook reporting flaws aren’t likely to raise as much of a fuss as the overstated “average duration of video viewed” metric did two months back—though, these new revelations highlight the many issues the company has had providing advertisers with complete details on their media buys. Though, to be fair, in this latest case, some of the flawed metrics were actually being underreported; thus, working against Facebook’s interests.

For example, “Video Views to 100%” may have been underreported by as much as 35%, due to an issue with audio playing longer than video on mobile devices. This, however, appears to be an outlier—other metrics, such as Organic Reach (which may have been off by as much as 55% over a 28-day period), time spent on Instant Articles, and Apps referrals were all overstated according to the social network.

In correcting the reporting flaws, Facebook noted they are actively working on developing more descriptive names for advertising metrics, to avoid confusion over similar themes. The company also noted they are adding tooltips within Ads Manager to not only include each metric’s definition, but also how each is calculated, and additional metrics related to the one selected.

Updated Facebook Metric Definitions
Image via Facebook

Facebook also announced the ability to verify display impression data—similar to the recent offer made to video advertisers—via third-party partners Moat, IAS, and comScore. Given the recent Facebook reporting flaws, the calls for third-party ad verification from larger advertisers is no surprise; nor is the timing of this announcement, as the busy holiday shopping season draws close.

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