Social media platform Facebook is to “clean up” its performance metrics, in efforts to help bring more clarity to advertisers running paid ad placements via the networking perform.
As part of the clean up, Facebook will introduce a labeling system that will better demonstrate how the performance metrics of paid ad placements - such as reach and frequency - are recorded, in addition to guidance for advertisers to “measure what matters”.
Performance metrics indicating either “estimated” or “in development” will be viewable in the Facebook Ad Manager, which the social media platform claims will bring clarity on the likely business outcomes of media buys on the social channel, and in effect, lead to better insights on data.
Reach, for example, would be measured by the number of people who see an ad multiple times, de-duplicating them and then calculating the total number of unique people in real time.
“To do this quickly, we sample the data and will therefore label it as estimated. This is also how reach is calculated for ads on TV and across other digital platforms.” according to Facebook’s VP in marketing science Brad Smallwood.
The initiative from Facebook will also include methodologies, such as polling or machine learning, to determine if the metrics are estimated or still in development.
“For example, estimated ad recall lift is a metric used by brands to understand the differences between people who can recall a brand after seeing an ad compared to those who have not seen an ad,” said Smallwood.
“This kind of automated measurement is still new and requires both polling and machine learning. Because we use sampling to determine this metric, it will be labeled as estimated, and since we're still gathering advertiser feedback on it, it will also be labeled as in development.”
The features are available for advertisers as of now, but the clean up from Facebook will also see metrics such as Actions, People Taking Action and Cost Per Any Action, based on advertisers' feedback be removed from the platform from July this year.