Facebook fluffs its advertising effectiveness

thumb-mark-zuckerberg-facebook-pro-4566Social notworking site Facebook is in hot water after it was revealed the company vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years.

Several weeks ago, Facebook disclosed in a post on its “Advertiser Help Center” that its metric for the average time users spent watching videos was artificially inflated because it was only factoring in video views of more than three seconds. The company said it was introducing a new metric to fix the problem.

Sd agency executives were furious and started digging deeper, prompting Facebook to give them a more detailed account.

Ad buying agency Publicis Media was told by Facebook that the earlier counting method likely overestimated average time spent watching videos by between 60 per cent and 80 per cent. A spokeswoman for Publicis Media bought $77 billion in ads on behalf of marketers around the world in 2015, so it is a little miffed.

Facebook insists that it has fixed its video metrics. and that it did not change billing.

“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.”

However all this is rather embarrissing for Facebook, which has been touting the rapid growth of video consumption across its platform in recent years. Marketers may have misjudged the performance of video advertising they have purchased from Facebook over the past two years. It also may have impacted their decisions about how much to spend on Facebook video versus other video ad sellers such as Google’s YouTube, Twitter, and even TV networks.