Facebook is issuing refunds to some advertisers after it found out that a bug may have caused it to overstate ad click figures. Facebook says the problem occurred when users visited its site on mobile browsers and so what Facebook was saying in essence is that the problem didn’t come from its app or desktop. Users who visited it clicked on the ads to expand them in size and they got registered as website clicks. Facebook carousels allow advertisers to place multiple photos, videos and texts which users can swipe to get different information on an ad.
The bug affected advertisers who paid for website clicks and so affected users will get refunds.
Facebook is doing this to maintain the confidence levels its advertisers have in it at least according to Carolyn Everson who is Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions. But this just gives more voice to those calling for a third party measurement tool that will guaranteed that advertisers get value for money.
It was back in September 2016 that advertisers expressed their frustration with Facebook’s measurement tool after Facebook admitted that some of it metric for measurements over the last two years may have been skewed. Facebook’s VP, Business and Marketing Partnerships David Fischer had said “About a month ago, we found an error in the way we calculate one of the video metrics on our dashboard – average duration of video viewed. 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 – it reflected the total time spent watching a video divided by only the number of “views” of a video (that is, when the video was watched for three or more seconds). And so the miscalculation overstated this metric. While this is only one of the many metrics marketers look at, we take any mistake seriously.”
Fast forward to March 2017, Facebook rolled out its “Advanced Measurement” tool to advertisers which it said was meant to more accurately provide them with better measurement of their campaign. They even went as far as collaborating with third part partners like comScore and Visual IQ to get attribution data.
Well for those who have been counting, this is the tenth time Facebook that Facebook will be admitting to such an error in it’s measurement and the fifth since September last year. and this calls for more transparency and better relationship with more independent third party partners.