Independent Auditors Will Check Facebook Ad Displays Down To The Millisecond

Image courtesy of Facebook

You can’t blame companies that run advertisements on Facebook for being a bit suspicious after the social media platform has acknowledged problems with over-estimating how long users interact with videos and how much time users spend reading Instant Articles and interacting with brand pages. Now the company will submit to an outside audit of that advertising data.

The big companies advertising on Facebook expect independent auditing when they advertise elsewhere, and now that Facebook even wants to sell video advertisements on our televisions, it’s not surprising that they’re demanding more transparency.

Facebook’s biggest ad scandal to date was revealed in September, when the company announced that it had been under-counting how long the average user watched videos in their timelines. It had simply tossed out all views under three seconds, increasing the average view time reported to advertisers.

“We know we can’t have true partnerships with our clients unless we are upfront and honest with them, including when we make mistakes like this one,” the company’s vice president of business and marketing partnerships explained to advertisers in a Facebook post at the time.

Facebook will provide its advertising data to Media Rating Council, which performs audits for ads in all formats, from billboards to radio spots to internet advertising.

It will also begin sharing more data about how long users view each ad to the third-party metrics companies used by big advertisers, including how long all or part of an ad is on a user’s screen down to the millisecond.

(via Reuters)