The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Facebook acknowledged a “glitch” and admitted they inflated video data for two years.
This “glitch” artificially inflated data for the average time users spent watching videos because Facebook only factored in video views of more than three seconds. A new video metric is being introduced to fix the problem.
We recently discovered an error in the way we calculate one of our video metrics. This error has been fixed, it did not impact billing, and we have notified our partners both through our product dashboards and via sales and publisher outreach. We also renamed the metric to make it clearer what we measure. This metric is one of many our partners use to assess their video campaigns.
Publicis Media, an ad-buying agency, was told by Facebook that the earlier counting method likely overestimated average time spent viewing videos by between 60% to 80%.
Facebook’s vice president of business and marketing partnerships, David Fischer, said on Friday, “The metric should have reflected the total time spent watching a video, divided by the total number of people who played the video. But it didn’t. While this is only one of the many metrics marketers look at, we take any mistake seriously.”