Facebook after finding data related bug related to advertisement algorithm, will be returning advertising fees to some ‘not so happy’ marketers. The social media giant, however, is remaining silent on the exact amount, and marketers that are involved in the process.
It is pertinent to mention that this is the fifth time Facebook has publicly acknowledged measurement bugs, since September 2016.
In an official statement issued on Tuesday night, the company said that the bug only affected a limited number (0.4%) of ad impressions that were charged for.
The Advertisement Error
The bug was recently discovered in a specific ad unit which is termed as ‘video carousel ads‘. These specific ad units are known for letting marketers show multiple ads in one single ad slog in Facebook’s news feed. This is one feature that is heavily used by marketers as it enables users to browse within an ad with a simple swipe. As you may have noticed, the carousel ads also let people browse the videos upon clicking instead of taking them to the website.
The bug apparently, was reporting certain clicks as actions that were leading to the marketer’s app or website. This was leading to inaccurate reporting and causing charge of excess fees for actions that were never really happening.
Carousel Bug’s Scope
Facebook is ensuring the marketers that the bug was fairly limited in scope and only affected few marketers. Facebook maintains that the bug was causing problem only in cases where people were accessing Facebook through certain mobile browsers. Mobile Safari and Chrome are two browsers included in the list that may have been affected by the bug. The statement also states that the mobile app and desktop application remained completely unaffected by the carousel bug.
Advertisers have since long complained about the lack of transparency that Google and Facebook have. Unlike traditional media where ratings and reach is verified by independent companies, internet marketing rarely possesses a double check. The bug remained live for more than 15 months – a case that has a potential to increase mistrust with the social network’s already very strict advertising related policies.
The company’s Vice President of global marketing solutions Carolyn Everson said:
“We are committed to transparency with our partners when it comes to driving results on Facebook. As part of our new review process, we recently uncovered a bug. This bug was small and make goods are a common part of the ad industry. We take all issues seriously and are notifying our clients and agencies and crediting those affected.”