It led to the tech giant’s conversion lift tool miscalculate the effectiveness of many brand campaigns.
The Facebook conversion lift tool apparently suffered a coding error that went undetected for a year, from August 2019 to August 2020. This tool “helps you understand the true value of your Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network ads at driving incremental sales and conversions.”
As per the social media company, “Conversion lift uses a gold standard methodology to capture the causal impact that Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network ads have on business performance. This methodology addresses several measurement challenges facing today's marketers.”
First reported in AdExchanger, “Facebook miscalculated the number of sales that came from people who saw an ad, which is a key ratio necessary to measure incrementality, because it’s used to calculate other metrics. These (metrics) include conversion lift percentage, which is the difference in conversions between the people who did and didn’t see ads during a test.”
The website also said advertisers were only alerted about the error this month (November 2020).
As compensation, Facebook is offering “one-time coupons” (ad credits) to the affected advertisers. These coupons must be used before March 31, 2021.
This isn’t the first time that Facebook has found itself at the receiving end of data miscalculation. As per CNBC, in September 2016, the social media giant said it overestimated the average time people spent viewing video ads over a two-year period.
And, in 2017, a report found that Facebook claimed to reach more people in some US states and cities than official population data said existed in those areas.
Meanwhile, Facebook has reported $21.5 billion in revenues for Q3 2020, up 22 per cent as compared to last year (2019).