Facebook agrees to measurement audit, promises more transparent metrics
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Facebook agrees to measurement audit, promises more transparent metrics

LAST week, Facebook reportedly earned over US$8.81 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 alone in the advertising arena, surpassing estimates made by analysts – but that doesn’t mean they’re out of the woods.

Despite its ambitious ad revenues, Facebook has some hoop jumping to do before it can appease its customers, due to the inflated video metrics that it has been doling out. The company had been sending out “erroneous” miscalculations, as it had only accounted for clips in which people had watched for more than three seconds – which overestimated watch time by 60-80 percent.

In its latest move to regain the trust of advertisers, as reported by Bloomberg, Facebook has agreed to be audited by media watchdog, the Media Rating Council. This development comes at a time when current and prospective customers are highly skeptical of the social network’s metrics, and Facebook is vowing to be more transparent from here on out.

“We want to provide transparency, choice and accountability. Transparency through verified data that shows which campaigns drive measurable results, choice in how advertisers run campaigns across our platforms, and accountability through an audit and third-party verification,” said Facebook in a statement. The company also shared its plans to release information such as its metrics on the average view time for each ad and how much was visible on screen.

Allowing the Media Rating Council to begin audits and providing additional data and insights into its methodology “goes a long way to alleviate the concerns” of advertisers, said Bob Liodice, head of the Association of National Advertisers.

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“That’s what we’ve been clamoring for, we’ve spent the last six months or so talking with Facebook about this. This is the appropriate blueprint and framework for us to make better marketing decision,” he said.

Liodice also pointed out that having a third-party organization delve in and validate its metrics will make Facebook come off as more “trustworthy” and also give advertisers the opportunity to draw comparisons between campaign results in different ad platforms.