Facebook admits more metric problems

Facebook has admitted yet more errors in the way it is calculating metrics used by marketers and publishers as decision making tools, with Live Streaming, Likes and Shares now under the microscope.


Facebook explained the latest issues in a blog post

It is the third set of admissions from the social network giant about miscalculations on the platform in a few months.

In a new post overnight Facebook admitted it has been misallocating reactions on live streams and said it is looking into why the calculations around Likes and Shares of a link show different numbers when searched on mobile.

It also said it is changing the way it predicts estimated reach for ads for marketers saying: “We’re improving our methodology for sampling and extrapolating potential audience size.

“This will help to provide a more accurate estimate for a given target audience and to better account for audiences across multiple platforms.”

Explaining the live stream issue on its Metrics FYI blog Facebook wrote:

For Live videos, we introduced streaming reactions. Live video posts can have multiple reactions per person, since people can react at any moment of the live broadcast.

In Page Insights in the column for “Reactions on Post,” however, we show only one reaction per unique user. We misallocated the extra reactions per user that happened during the live broadcast to the “Reactions from Shares of Post” section, instead of counting them in the “Reactions on Post” section, so we’re making a change to correct it. Note that total counts were and are correct; some of them were just captured in the wrong reporting column when broken out.”

On the issues around different numbers being served up in mobile search for Shares and Likes Facebook said those numbers could be “higher or lower”, but is investigating what is causing the discrepancy.

In September Facebook stunned marketers after admitting it had vastly overstated video view metrics, while in November it admitted a string of issues with measurement around organic reach and Instant Articles.

These admissions have led senior agency executives to demand more transparency from the digital giant and open up its platform to independent auditing partners.


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