Facebook has recruited Unilever and Nestle to its new ‘Measurement Council’, after admitting it has made a number of errors in the metrics it provides to advertisers.
In a lengthy blog post, the social giant says it plans to increase third-party verification and launch a new ‘Metrics FYI’ channel to share updates about changes to its approach to measurement.
Facebook was recently hit with the news that it had been overestimating the length of time its users watch videos, an issue identified by Moat. The company said it is updating how it reads video length to rectify the issue, and is exploring “additional third-party reviews” to validate the reporting it offers partners.
It has taken the opportunity to reveal a number of other measurement errors, including a “bug” in its Page Insights platform, which miscalculated organic page reach (see image below). According to Facebook, it means that, on average, seven-day reach will be 33% lower and 28-day reach will be 55% lower.
The social network has also owned up to an issue which saw it over-report the average time spent on Instant Articles by an average of 7% to 8%, and problems with the ‘Referrals’ metric on its Facebook Analytics for Apps dashboard.
Facebook has pledged to make its measurement approach clearer, with more descriptive names for key metrics – ‘video views’, for instance, becomes ‘three-second video views’. It also said it will clarify how it makes its metrics calculations, use more consistent definitions and offer “better categorisation” to help marketers create more useful campaign reports.
To get the industry on-side, Facebook has said it is working with its Client Council members to form a new Measurement Council, with Unilever and Nestle among the advertisers set to join.
“Our global Client Council has helped shape the direction of our products and how we approach measurement. Innovations such as conversion lift and mobile polling came out of direct conversations with our Client Council members,” stated Facebook on its blog post.
“Given the Council’s valuable insights and the growing need for measurement standards tied to business outcomes, we’re now working with its members and other business and measurement executives to form a Measurement Council. We’ll announce more details in the coming weeks.”
Pete Blackshaw, Nestlé’s global head of digital and social media, said: “As a partner who works with Facebook a great deal, we’re really encouraged by this move – it underscores their commitment to transparency and third party measurement. Across all online channels, we deeply value third party ad verification.
“As Facebook looks to the market for continued feedback, we are excited to play a meaningful role as part of their Measurement Council.”
Keith Weed, chief marketing officer at Unilever, added: “We welcome Facebook’s move to create better standards in this fast developing digital media industry, and these steps reinforce their commitment to this.
“At Unilever we continue to encourage the entire industry to move towards greater transparency and more robust measurement. There is still much to be done, particularly in the areas of viewability and third party verification. As part of this effort, Unilever has joined Facebook’s Measurement Council to share insight and help strengthen measurement standards.”