AMPed Up Media/Marketing Technology

‘Bugs’ in Facebook’s method for charging advertisers is a benefit to ~ imagine that ~ Facebook

This may be the most-viewed photograph of Mark Zuckerberg in the history of Mark Zuckerberg. He posted it on his Facebook page. A look at Google Images shows how many publications picked it up.


Mark Zuckerberg, in the words of New York Post reporter James Covert, “has a credibility problem.”

Mr. Zuckerberg has admitted that Facebook found more “bugs” in the way it measures ads, which affects the way Facebook charges for ads — “and once again, those bugs benefited Facebook.”

Mr. Zuckerberg’s admission this week comes on the heels the Facebook admission two months ago that, according to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook admitted that for two years it had been “vastly” overestimating the average time that viewers spent watching videos. The company may have overestimated by 60 percent or more. That’s a lot of money in the favor of Facebook.

Facebook reassured advertisers that this didn’t affect billing – by which the company is saying it won’t be giving refunds or credit for overcharging its advertisers.

What Facebook doesn’t say is that the exaggerations didn’t affect how much money advertisers spent, but the overestimates most certainly did since advertisers base their spending on response to ads. Maybe advertisers spent 60 percent more with Facebook than they would have if the Facebook numbers had been accurate.

Pope Francis meets Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, second from left, and his wife Priscilla Chan, at the Santa Marta residence, the guest house in Vatican City where the pope lives, Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke says a topic of discussion at Monday’s meeting was “how to use communication technologies to alleviate poverty, encourage a culture of encounter, and make a message of hope arrive, especially to those most in need.’’ (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)

Maybe Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was seeking absolution for overcharging advertisers when he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, visited the pope in Rome in August. (L’Osservatore Romano/pool photo via AP)

Now Facebook admits it has found flaws in the way it tracks the weekly and monthly reach of posts, the number of full video views, and the amount of time readers spend with Instant Articles.

Again, Facebook assures us that the problems didn’t affect billing. Again, is Facebook saying it won’t refund money even though it is at fault?

In classic understatement, the Wall Street Journal reports that the admission “of the additional errors may trouble some advertisers and web publishers that rely on Facebook for distribution and monetization.”


Facebook reassures us that the company will provide “additional independent review of some measurements to calm unease over the social network’s data.”

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