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What's going on with Facebook?

Facebook recently announced changes and new features that will impact business pages. They also announced some errors they found in their reporting processes. Here's what marketers need to know.

Reach Reporting Oops

This week Facebook announced that "they uncovered a bug" in page insights. According to their findings,  7-day or 28-day organic page reach was incorrectly calculated as the sum of daily reach over that period. That means duplicate visitors were being counted in each instance, leading to a number that was 33% higher than it should have been. Facebook went on to say that this had no impact on paid promotions. The reporting error is circled in red in the screen capture below.

FB Reporting Example.pngImage via Facebook


Metrics Reporting Improvements

Facebook plans to implement several changes that will improve their reporting. They plan to begin implementing these changes in four ways

  1. New metric tooltips with clarified descriptions that provide context and guidance on how to use a metric, how a metric is calculated, and related documentation 
  2. More descriptive metric names to increase clarity and consistency 
  3. Better categorization for the Customize Columns selector to help make it easier to navigate 
  4. Updates to the Results column to show the single conversion marketers select in their ad set when using the website conversions objective

Facebook is also launching the ability to verify display impression data through third-party viewability verification partners to further ensure data quality.


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Video Metrics Oops

Facebook wrote in a statement that video metrics should have been calculated by dividing the time spent watching a video by the number of people who played it. Instead, the viewing time was divided by the number of times the video was watched for three seconds or more.

Hubspot gave a great example of how this was skewing results. Let’s say a video received a total viewing time of five hours, or 300 minutes, and was watched by  1,000 people, 700 of whom watched for at least three seconds. The viewership metric should be 30%. Instead, Facebook was dividing those 300 minutes by 700, resulting in a larger metric of nearly 43%. According to the Wall Street Journal, this went on for about two years.

Unified Inbox

This week Facebook announced that it was unveiling a unified inbox across Facebook, Messenger, and InstagramPreviously, if a businesses wanted to respond to customers on Facebook and Instagram, they had to open separate apps. 

The inbox will also serve as a central location for all commentary —comments on Facebook page, posts on your Facebook page, and messages and comments on Instagram posts. The inbox will have tabs for each platform, making organizing for each platform simple. 

Disappearing Likes

Your brand's Facebook page may or may not be displaying the number of likes your page has. Facebook is experimenting with eliminating the number of page likes. The plan is not to delete them, simply not display them.

It is unclear exactly what Facebook's objective is or what marketing implications will be if Facebook makes the experiment permanent. Some speculate that is it to create a more level the playing field between small and large businesses. 

Memorial Pages 

This one doesn't have anything to do with marketing. It's just funny. Last week Facebook temporarily memorialized several users' pages, implying they were dead. The victims of this Facebook feaux pas included Facebook's own Mark Zuckerburg and this guy, pictured below. 

FB Mistake.pngImage via TechCrunch


Like everything else in the digital world, Facebook is constantly evolving their platform in ways that impacts marketers. Subscribe below to stay up to date. 


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