Facebook has become a really important advertising tool for businesses. All types of companies, from local salons to ecommerce sites rely heavily upon facebook to market their offerings to new customers. One really amazing feature of Facebook is their streaming videos advertisments. You may have noticed while scrolling through your news feed, that videos begin to play automatically. This feature is a big win for advertisers, as someone is much more likely to watch an ad if the video is already playing as they pass by.
When this feature was first introduced, marketers were amazed at the new potential to showcase their videos to a large audience. They were also amazed at the impressive numbers of views, and rich data that facebook offered to anaylze the sucess of the advertisments. But now almost two years after the introduction of these ads, many advertisers are saying the numbers don’t match up.
The problem is that Facebook was falsely inflating the average time a video was viewed. They were not including people who watched a video for 3 seconds or less when calculating that average. While it may not seem like a big deal at first glace, there are estimates that this skewed data from between 60 to 80 percent. For example your videos about a cheap hoverboard could be viewed for an average of 20 seconds according to Facebook. Now that the error has been discovered, your average video view time may go down to something like 12 or 14 seconds.
This discrepancy may drastically alter how much money large companies are investing in the facebook advertising platform for certain products. For smaller companies, it may effect which products they continue to release content about, and the financial consequences could be great. At this point Facebook has not seen a large decline in the amount of advertisers using its platform. As companies continue to review data related to the error, they may see some shifts in what type of businesses are still using their platform. Overall the largest problem for many companies is mistrust that they are not able to see accurately where their hard earned advertising dollars are going. The best thing Facebook can do to move forward is to offer an easy way for 3rd party companies to monitor their metrics. Offering this alternative would help ensure problems like this don’t occur in the future.