Facebook discloses issues with tools used by advertisers

Facebook has disclosed a set of issues with tools that advertisers and media companies use to measure their audiences on the social media platform.

In a blog post on Friday, Facebook said it identified issues in three areas: calculations of estimated and potential audience reach, how the company reports reactions to live videos and how Like and Share button metrics compare to mobile search query metrics.

All three relate to information Facebook shares with advertisers and media companies about their audiences.

To fix the issues, Facebook says it is updating how it calculates figures that appear in a tool showing estimated audience reach and that it is improving its methodology for extrapolating potential audience sizes. It also said it is making a change to how it allocates users’ reactions to live videos. It said it is working to resolve a discrepancy between counts for Like and Share buttons and counts for entering a URL in Facebook’s search bar on the platform’s phone app.

The disclosures mark the third time in just a few months that Facebook has revealed issues with its methods of audience measurement. In September, the company said it found an error in how it calculated the average viewing time of videos on the social media platform and fixed it. Then, in mid-November, Facebook again said it was making changes to its tools, updating its metrics “to give our partners and the industry more clarity and confidence about the insights we provide.”

Facebook said it is revealing issues it discovers with transparency in mind. Friday’s post was the second in what the company calls its Metrics FYI blog series.

“We know how important it is to be open about meaningful updates we make to our metrics, so we’ve created this channel for regular information on metrics enhancements,” Facebook said.