Home Platforms Facebook Jumps Out Of The Frying Pan And Into Fire With More Measurement Errors

Facebook Jumps Out Of The Frying Pan And Into Fire With More Measurement Errors

SHARE:

facebookvideometrics2_edited-1

 

Facebook admitted additional measurement errors Wednesday, along with policy and organizational changes meant to narrow the trust gap between marketers and the mobile world’s leading ad platform.

The news comes less than two months after Facebook disclosed that it had been overstating video engagement results, prompting backlash from agencies and concern from other digital media companies that flagging trust in Facebook would negatively affect the broader digital marketing ecosystem.

The metric failures uncovered this week include miscalculating the organic reach of brand posts by failing to deduplicate repeat readers and overreporting the average time users spent reading Instant Articles by 7-8% since August 2015, Facebook said in a blog post.

Moat, one of Facebook’s third-party measurement partners, also identified a video-uploading bug that resulted in Facebook miscalculating complete views.

The changes and the metrics misses will have little to no effect on Facebook’s billing, ad rates or business standing, according to an investor response from Peter Stabler, senior internet and ad equity analyst for Wells Fargo.

“We believe these errors are not material to our investment thesis as they represent only a small fraction of the data used in marketer analysis,” he said, “and we note that the revised video completion metric (the most important of the group, in our view) should actually yield better results.”

Agencies echoed the idea that Facebook’s newest metrics disclosure won’t put a damper on its ad business.

Industry outcry can mask how Facebook is held to a higher standard than other marketing channels because of its measurability, said Orli LeWinter, senior VP of strategy and social media at the Dentsu Aegis agency 360i. And since Facebook is constantly adapting, every tweak it makes may have an impact on metrics.

“This is why we consistently review and update how we look at measurement,” LeWinter said. “This isn’t a ‘new’ thing for us.”

Subscribe

AdExchanger Daily

Get our editors’ roundup delivered to your inbox every weekday.

Beyond fixing the identified errors, Facebook also committed to more transparency and third-party verification.

“We’re now exploring additional third-party reviews to validate the reporting we offer partners,” Facebook wrote.

The platform will also draw on industry executives to form a Measurement Council, akin to the Client Council that Facebook created in 2011 to sync marketer priorities with the product development process.

Tangible changes, however, are limited. Existing viewability measurement partners Moat, Integral Ad Science and comScore will be able to integrate with Facebook to verify display impression data, while Nielsen’s solution for Facebook publishers will expand to cover video and Facebook Live viewership numbers.

“We’re encouraged Facebook is clarifying metrics and seeking input from customers,” a GroupM spokesperson said. “Today’s developments stop short of full third-party measurement, which we still believe crucial to advertiser confidence in any market.”

Give credit where due to Facebook for its self-examination, said Integral Ad Science CEO Scott Knoll.

“They were quick to come forward with their own findings and from the first they’ve been very proactive,” he said.

Knoll said not to expect any sudden, drastic changes from Facebook – at least nothing that would shake its position as a walled garden. “[But] if you take a longer view here, it’s clear there’s a natural evolution underway toward more agnostic measurability for marketers,” he said.

Two years ago, industry stakeholders hardly even discussed viewability and measurement concerns, Knoll said.

“Platforms and walled gardens understand marketers don’t want to be in a position where someone [on their media plan] is grading their own homework,” he said. “We’ve come a long way on that even if it isn’t obvious on a day-to-day basis.”

Must Read

Scott’s Miracle-Gro Is Seeing Green With Retail Media

It’s lawn season – and you know what that means. Scott’s Miracle-Gro commercials, of course. Except this time, spots for Scott’s will be brought to you by The Home Depot’s retail media network.

Walled Garden Platforms Are Drowning Marketers In Self-Attributed Sales

Sales are way up; ROAS is through the roof across search, social and ecommerce. At least, that’s what the ad platforms say.

Comic: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

Shadier Than Forbes? Premium Publishers Are Partnering With Content Farms To Make A Quick Programmatic Buck

The practice involves monetizing resold subdomains jammed with recycled MFA articles produced by notorious content farms.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters

Adalytics Claims Colossus SSP Is Misdeclaring IDs In Its Bid Requests

Colossus SSP, a DEI-focused supply-side platform owned by Direct Digital Holdings (DDH), is the subject of Adalytics’ latest report released Friday. It’s a doozy.

The Trade Desk Reframes Its Open Internet Vision As ‘The Premium Internet’

The Trade Desk is focusing beyond the overall “open internet” and on what CEO Jeff Green calls the “premium internet.”

Comic: Welcome Aboard

Google Search’s Core Updates Are Crushing Sites And Reshaping The Web

Google Search, the web’s largest traffic and revenue generator for two decades, is in the midst of sweeping overhauls that have already altered how users are funneled around the internet.