Facebook discovers more miscalculated ad metrics

Advertisers now have more than one metric to second guess on Facebook.

The Menlo Park tech firm on Wednesday admitted that it uncovered more errors in the data it provides to advertisers and publishers, months after the company discovered it mistakenly inflated the average time users spend watching a video.

Facebook said the company overcounted the number of people a page reached, referrals and the amount of time spent on “Instant Articles,” which allows publishers like The New York Times, BuzzFeed, National Geographic and other media outlets to post faster-loading articles directly on the social media site. It undercounted the number of people who watch an entire video.

The tech firm said it’s taking steps to provide advertisers with more clarity about its metrics, including a new internal review process and the creation of a measurement council made up of business executives and other partners.

“We know that having access to reliable metrics is important to the millions of partners who use our services to grow their businesses,” Facebook, which has 1.79 billion monthly active users, wrote in a blog post. “As our products evolve to meet the needs of the people and businesses that use them, our metrics will also evolve.”

Facebook stock is currently down less than 1 percent at $116.21 per share.

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Some analysts on Wednesday didn’t appear too worried about Facebook’s latest math blunder.

“While these changes are significant, Facebook does not currently bill its clients based on any of these metrics,” wrote Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Baird Equity Research. “We do not view these announcements as altering Facebook’s core value proposition for users or advertisers, and could possibly help monetization in certain scenarios, and would continue to add to positions on weakness.”

Photo Credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

 

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