Over the past month Facebook has been dealing with many issues regarding their video metrics. After realizing their mistakes, Facebook wrote out a post in its Advertiser Help Centre stating that they’re introducing a new metric measuring time watched, and overall trying to get a better grasp of the their current issue.
How it all began….
Before noticing the problem, Facebook was supposed to be dividing the total time spent watching a video by the total number of people who played the video. Instead, they were dividing the total time spent watching a video by only the number of “views” of a video, which includes videos only watched for three or more seconds. This mistake provided to be very influential on their data as this minor fault inflated average viewing time immensely, from 60% to 80%. Thankfully, the error was fixed and it did not impact billing.
This is an awful look on Facebook because some may think that they were trying to inflate the popularity of its video platform or faking the numbers. Many companies were affected by this mistake. For example, media companies who invest heavily in Facebook as a platform for video now have inaccurate calculations which in turn ruin their projections causing a domino effect. Another party greatly affected is ad buyers, because this vital information has impacted how they chose where to spend money online. Facebook replaced the mistake metrics with a “Video Average Watch Time” metric which divides by all plays including ones under three-second plays, and a new “Video Percentage Watched” stat.
Does it really “matter”?
Many Marketers did not care about this mishap. TechCrunch, for example, spoke to social marketing executives that work directly with these metrics, who came to the conclusion that there are more important measurements Facebook executives should be to worrying about and allocating their time towards. They also pointed out that this error doesn’t impact spending if marketers would look at analytics more holistically.
And the final Verdict is….
In the same article, social media advisors from the Foxwell Digital agency stated: “There are various other metrics that advertisers likely care about, such as return on ad spend, time a user spends on their website, cost per acquisition, etc.” Basically, advertisers and business owners care more about the overall campaign objective rather than one metric out of hundreds. They also made it clear that some advanced Facebook advertisers could have actually shifted budgets and when they were comparing it to other channels it made Facebook a lot more appealing.
There’s no denial that it is important for everyone in the industry to have accurate numbers, both Facebook and marketers need to rely on transparency. However, when it comes to determining whether something is working, actions like clicks or conversations are typically the focal point of any conclusion to me made.
What’s Your Input?
Do you think Facebook made a huge mistake? Or that everyone is overreacting? Comment your opinion below!