Facebook Admits to Error in Video View Metric

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While Facebook has certainly become a major hub for online video in the past year—bringing ad dollars along for the ride—not all video news on the social network has been positive.

On Friday, the company’s VP of Advertising & Global Operations, David Fischer, took to Facebook to address a lingering issue revolving around a key reporting metric for video advertisers: the average duration of video viewed. According to Fischer, the Facebook video view error that advertisers had been seeing was due to the method by which the metric was being calculated—and was not caused by anything nefarious on Facebook’s part.

The average duration of video viewed metric should have been calculated by taking the total number of viewers and dividing them into the total time spent watching said video. However, until recently, Facebook was calculating this metric based on views—which, as we’ve mentioned before, only requires a video to be played for 3 seconds (whether anyone is watching it or not).

The result of this Facebook video view error is an overstatement of the avg. duration metric for all advertisers; though, there’s no telling by how much, or whether advertisers will even notice. Quite frankly, the negative press surrounding this issue is likely worse for the social network than any actual restatement of metrics will be for advertisers or agencies managing business on their behalf.

Fischer says in his post that the issue was corrected about a month ago, so anyone utilizing Facebook for video should already see this updated in current reporting.

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