Facebook has made several changes to how advertising statistics are reported and to what extent, with the goal of improving transparency and dispelling confusion among advertisers.
The changes come after the company admitted a series of measurement problems over a period of nearly two years and heard from advertisers that they wanted more clarity on how its metrics are calculated.
Deleting Report Parameters
Among the announcements made on Thursday, we find the removal of about twenty measures of reports that social networks have described as redundant, outdated, that could not lead to action or that were rarely used.
Facebook has provided a complete list of these metrics with the reason for the deletion and suggested actions to look at instead.
For example, the Clicks on Buttons statistic is on the hash block. Facebook explains:
The Clicks on Buttons statistic shows the number of times that users clicked the incentive button for your ad's action. Button clicks are redundant because these clicks are also reflected in statistics Clicks on links or in other separate statistics such as statistics Answers to events and statistics Saved offers. We recommend that you use clicks on links, event responses, or saved offers instead of Button Clicks .
Metric cleansing will occur at some point in July.
To add more clarity on how measures are calculated, some measures will be explicitly labeled "estimated" and / or "in development".
Measures labeled "estimated" are calculated using modeling or data sampling. Although this is not a new concept for marketers, the fact of not having clearly indicated that the measures were estimates caused confusion, found Facebook.
From the blog entry:
These types of statistics are useful because they can provide information about results that are difficult to accurately measure, such as the estimated recall of ads or the number of unique people targeted by your campaign. These indicators are intended to provide directional guidance on the value of your marketing results and to take into account the strategic planning of your business.
Metrics labeled "under development" are being tested or deployed, which means that their results may change as Facebook adjusts the methodologies used in these metrics.
New statistics are often developed for new ad features. Facebook says that new measures are generally in development for 60 days, but sometimes longer.
Advertisers will not receive any notification if Facebook corrects errors, bugs, or makes changes to indicators marked as "in development."
Training in Measurement
Facebook is launching in March a program called "Measure What Matters" to help marketers learn more about measurement principles. One track will offer programming for branded campaigns and another will focus on measurement for direct response campaigns.
The programming will be offered on the Facebook Business website and on Facebook Live and in person.