Facebook’s Video Statistics (Were) Wrong
In September, social media giant Facebook apologized to marketers for misconstruing data in regard to video on its platform. Numbers for key drivers of KPIs for marketers were inflated due to the way that Facebook handled logging the aforementioned data.
“Ad buying agency Publicis Media was told by Facebook that the earlier counting method likely overestimated average time spent watching videos by between 60% and 80%, according to a late August letter Publicis Media sent to clients” according to the The Wall Street Journal.
Facebook did not include any video views under three seconds when calculating the average time watched on videos, by which it charged marketers, drastically upping that average when billing users.
The influence of the problems in the function of this metric could have affected marketers in the way of $100s of millions of misused funds. Facebook’s ad revenue jumped by 57 percent to $5.2 billion in Q1 of 2016, on the back of what it has publicly touted as an ever increasing amount of video viewing from its users.
To correct the miscalculation for ad buying on video views, Facebook has said to major advertisers that it will now count all viewing times for its average time spent numbers. Publicis, a company responsible for $77 billion in media planning last year, told its clients that it was Facebook’s attempt to remove itself from a costly mistake for the advertiser’s own customers.
“In an effort to distance themselves from the incorrect metrics, Facebook is deprecating [the old metrics] and introducing ‘new’ metrics in September. Essentially, they’re coming up with new names for what they were meant to measure in the first place,” a memo obtained by the Wall Street Journal said.
Moving forward, advertisers and marketers will keep a closer eye on how their ad spends are being used and calculated by Facebook, although the company’s tight control over data makes it hard for anyone outside of its campus to truly know how the sausage is being made.
This post was originally published on Slice Communications