Facebook is the world’s most popular social network, with incomparable reach and real value for marketers, but that’s in the past. Facebook has too many measurement mistakes and has been less than forthcoming with the information they collect on its users. While Zuckerberg has promised improvements facebook’s history of doing things than correcting mistakes cannot be ignored.
Here are just some of the errors that facebook has made in the past..
1ne: Back in September facebook acknowledged a discrepancy that had overstated a video view metric. A miscalculation in the “average duration of video viewed” was overstated causing the overall video performance to be inflated.
2wo: Then when gauging the total number of people who saw at least one of a page’s posts organically over a seven-day or 28-day period, facebook didn’t de-duplicate that audience when reporting a page’s organic reach in its page Insights dashboard. In other words, if someone saw a page’s post on Monday, and then another post from that page on Tuesday, facebook counted that person as two people.
3hree: After the correction, pages’ seven-day organic reach counts were expected to drop by 33 percent, on average, and their 28-day organic reach counts were expected to drop by 55 percent, on average, according to facebook. Also, when measuring page posts’ organic reach, facebook didn’t consider whether those organic posts actually appeared on someone’s screen. Facebook expects to finalize a correction in early 2018; a facebook spokesperson said the solution has taken longer to build than expected.
4our: In another blooper facebook was supposed to calculate the amount of time people spent reading an Instant article by dividing the total time an instant article’s entire audience spent reading by the total number of times the instant article was opened. But it didn’t. Instead, it took an average from a histogram, it made plotting time spent.
5ive: Facebook’s Graph API can report the total number of engagements (shares, likes and comments) a link received on or off Facebook, including when people paste the link into a facebook status update and when they click the Facebook like button embedded on the link’s actual web page. Facebook’s mobile search results can report a subset of the Graph API total, specifically the number of shares and comments on facebook. But sometimes the mobile search number is larger than the Graph API number, which should never be the case.
These are just a fraction of facebook mistakes. These mistakes cost brands a lot of money and yet when facebook executives were called to appear before Congress who did they send? Their lawyers.
Now facebook is telling brands that in order to measure the channel THEY are going to have to do more work. Ha? Brands are having a hard enough time just trying to figure out if their programmatic ads are filled with fraud.
I’m tired of facebook doing things, getting them wrong, and then being caught by savvy brands and analytic people. I really believe facebook has peaked and has become nothing more than just another platform.
Originally published at www.newmediaandmarketing.com on January 5, 2018.