Facebook Grossly Over-Estimated Views On Advertising Content, Again

Dec 13, 2016

Facebook recently announced that once again it had miscalculated the audience viewing ads on their social networking site.

This comes after a correction in September admitting it had miscalculated the "average duration of videos viewed." Needless to say, advertisers were not pleased. However, Facebook executives have assured advertisers that measures are being put in place to correct these miscalculations and provide more transparency on buyer behavior and the advertising metrics themselves.

 What does this mean for advertisers? 

In an attempt to regain trust with advertisers, Facebook is taking steps to clarify its wide array of metrics. It is renaming metric descriptions to describe better what they measure exactly. This process will hopefully help marketers make the advertising decisions that better help their business, and create more sensible ad spending on the networking platform.

Facebook Overestimates Its Influence for AdvertisersAdvertising metrics are constantly evolving, and clients want more knowledge and transparency on the behavior. Therefore, Facebook is devoting itself to implementing more third-party verification and a new blog for communicating ongoing changes in metrics. 

Additional changes that are going into effect include:


For example, “view content” is changing to “website view of content,” and “video views” is changing to “3-second video views."


Facebook plans to launch a new Measurement Council. Facebook measurement teams will work together with third-party partners and professional senior measurement executives from large agencies and advertisers. The main goal of this new council will be to develop better measurement products and standards. 

WHAT Metrics Have Been Miscalculated?

  • Organic Reach has been overstated
  • Video Completion Rates have been understated
  • time spent on Instant Articles has been overstated
  • Analytics for Apps Referrals have been overstated

Although this handful of miscalculations can diminish trust and may have implications for confidence in the broader digital advertising ecosystem, Facebook is hoping that their acknowledgment and open claim of responsibility for the problems will help build trust.

They hope that their initiative to correct the problems and provide more transparency will eventually instill more confidence that Facebook is refining its approach to measurement and responding to their advertiser's concerns in a meaningful way.

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