Faceebook to Have Outside Audit of Ad Data after Ad Data Discrepancy

 Facebook Inc. FB recently agreed to evaluation of its advertising metrics by measurement watchdog Media Rating Council (MRC). This is not surprising in the light of the confessions by the company regarding its miscalculations of ad measurements last year.

Last September, Facebook first indentified a “mistake” in it ads metrics. The tech giant realized that it had been overstating the average time spent by users on watching videos. The company only took into account the video with views greater than three seconds, excluding the ones with the views of lesser time, thereby leading to greater than actual average view metrics. Following this, in Nov 2016, Facebook revealed that it had found ‘discrepancies” in calculation in four more metrics followed by two more in December

Facebook promised an outside audit of data it provides advertisers in a move apparently aimed at calming concerns about accuracy.

This news comes just months after the leading social network announced it was working to fix flaws in its metrics calculations that led to audiences being overestimated at times.

"We are committing to an audit by the Media Rating Council to verify the accuracy of the information we deliver to our partners," Facebook said in an online post aimed at businesses.

Advertisers will get more detailed information about ad views at Facebook and Instagram, including milliseconds that marketing messages are on screens, according to Facebook

Facebook also said it would offer advertisers new options, including only paying for video ads watched from start to finish or those played with sound turned on.

The new moves were to be made this year.

Facebook also revealed at the time that a software bug had let repeat visits to online pages of companies or brands be counted as though someone new was taking a look each time.

In addition, the social network said that for a time it had been overestimating by about seven percent the time spent on news stories published using its Instant Articles tool.

The erroneous metrics were not those used to determine ad prices at the social network, according to Facebook.

The social network has an interest in maintaining advertisers confidence with reliable audience metrics. Facebook makes the bulk of its money from online advertising.

Facebook's profits more than doubled in the final three months of 2016, as the social media platform saw its audience grow and head towards the two billion mark.

Meanwhile, the number of people using Facebook each month increased 17 percent to 1.86 billion.