Facebook makes money from monetizing your political arguments with your former roommate’s great-aunt, and advertisers want statistics that show what they’re getting for their ad dollars. That’s why it’s of note that Facebook recently told advertisers that it’s been overestimating how many people a given ad is going to reach.
When creating an ad campaign on Facebook, whether it’s one worth millions of dollars or just spending five bucks to promote a local event, you set the parameters, and Facebook estimates how many different people will see your ad.
What Facebook admitted in its latest Metrics FYI post, brought to our attention by AdAge, is that it has “improved” its estimate of how many people would see each ad that an advertiser would see when deciding who they want to reach and how much they’re willing to pay.
In the last few months, Facebook has admitted that its statistics overestimated how long users spent watching videos in their newsfeeds, overestimated how long users spent reading the site’s Instant Articles, and overestimated how many users were interacting with a given business’s Facebook page.
The announcement of incorrect video watch times alone led the Association of National Advertisers to call for outside auditing of the social media network’s ad metrics. “That is the standard of accepted practice that marketers and agencies have relied on for decades,” president and CEO Bob Liodice said in a statement at the time, insisting that digital media companies should have to do the same.