Faceboook Measuring Error Means Advertisers Are Getting Refunds


A Facebook bug that miscalculated how many users clicked on an advertisement resulted in some advertisers getting overcharged. And now Facebook is making things right.

The company announced this week that a bug impacted a small portion of users – those browsing Facebook on a mobile browser instead of the app – who clicked on videos in a carousel ad. The bug caused a miscalculation of how many people clicked an ad, meaning advertisers were overcharged.

While this does appear to be a very limited bug that caused a very small miscalculation ($10 over a year, according to one source), it looks like the principle is what’s important to Facebook here. “Regardless of how many impressions were affected, we take all bugs seriously and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused,” they wrote in a blog post.

Of course, for advertisers, this is worrisome because it’s just the latest in a series of Facebook ad mishaps. And since advertisers are at the core of Facebook’s business (it makes up half of their revenue, actually), this isn’t as innocuous as it may seem. As Facebook offers one mea culpa after another, it’s bound to affect an advertiser’s confidence in the company.

For their part, Facebook is owning up to their mistakes, even turning to third party companies now to do the tracking. “We know that measurement is important to building advertiser trust,” said Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, in a recent earnings discussion. “We’re going to continue to invest in measurement, including third-party partnerships, in the upcoming year.”

So far, the issues don’t seem to be affecting Facebook too bad. Advertisers are still purchasing more space on the site than ever before, and the site is still more popular than ever before.

It’s clear that advertisers still value the platform. And as long as there are still millions of potential eyeballs, they probably will.

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