Facebook reported wrong video stats for over 2 years

PHOTO CREDIT: www.digitaltrends.com

A lot of digital media buyers have been shifting more budget to Facebook over the past few years. And some of the reasons are quite simple

  1. Better audience targeting and segmentation
  2. Good reach on and off the Facebook platform
  3. Interactive ad formats like Facebook Canvas
  4. Reasonably low costs per result..

The list is endless. And recently, video ad results became another reason. With advertisers seeing huge numbers  of video views and good watch percentages, more and more people utilized Facebook video ads.

However, in a post on Facebook’s help center, the company has mentioned that some of these stats were wrong. The “Average Duration of Video Viewed” stat had been inflated by 60% – 80%.

wrong-video-metric

According to The Wall Street Journal, some ad agencies have been reached out to to confirm this issue. One of such agencies is the Publicis Media, a division of Publicis Groupe SA. Publicis was responsible for purchasing roughly $77 billion in ads on behalf of marketers around the world in 2015, according to estimates from research firm Recma.

What’s the fallout like?

Naturally, advertisers are now beginning to dig deeper into their Facebook statistics. Some advertisers have started raising complaints on the same help thread about other stats.

As pulled from the Wall Street Journal

On Friday, Facebook apologized. “The metric should have reflected the total time spent watching a video divided by the total number of people who played the video. But it didn’t,” said David Fischer, vice president of business and marketing partnerships, in a Facebook post. “While this is only one of the many metrics marketers look at, we take any mistake seriously.”

Facebook had said in an earlier statement: “We recently discovered an error in the way we calculate one of our video metrics.” It added: “This error has been fixed, it did not impact billing, and we have notified our partners both through our product dashboards and via sales and publisher outreach. We also renamed the metric to make it clearer what we measure. This metric is one of many our partners use to assess their video campaigns.”

While the effect on small businesses and advertisers with smaller spends might be minimal, it is worth noting for agencies that would likely have boasted great results to clients.

We will update this post if more news on the issue comes in.