Facebook has made several changes to how and what advertising metrics it reports in an effort to improve transparency and clear up advertiser confusion.
The changes come after the company admitted a series of measurement problems in a span of nearly two years and has heard from advertisers that they want more clarity around how its metrics are calculated.
Removing reporting metrics
Among the announcements made Thursday is the removal of roughly 20 reporting metrics that the social networks says were either redundant, outdated, not actionable or rarely used.
Facebook has provided a full list of these metrics along with reason for removal and suggested metrics to look at instead.
For example, the Button Clicks metric is on the chopping block. Facebook explains:
The Button Clicks metric shows the number of times people clicked the call-to-action button on your ad. Button Clicks is redundant because these clicks are also either reflected in the Link Clicks metric or other distinct metrics like the Event Responses metric and the Offers Saved metric. We recommend using Link Clicks, Event Responses or Offers Saved instead of Button Clicks.
The metric clean up will occur at some point in July.
To add more clarity about how metrics are calculated, some metrics will be explicitly labeled “estimated” and/or “in development”.
Metrics labeled as “estimated” are calculated using data modeling or sampling. While that’s not a new concept for marketers, not having the metrics clearly labeled as being estimates has caused confusion, Facebook found.
From the blog post:
These types of metrics are helpful because they can provide insights for outcomes that may be hard to precisely measure, such as the estimated ad recall lift or the number of unique people your campaign reached. These metrics are meant to provide directional insights into the value of your marketing results and can factor into your businesses’ strategic planning.
Metrics labeled as “in development” are being tested or rolling, which means their results may change as Facebook adjusts the methodologies used in these metrics.
New metrics are often developed for new ad features. Facebook says that new metrics are typically in development for 60 days, though sometimes longer.
Advertisers won’t get any notifications if Facebook fixes errors, bugs or makes changes to metrics labeled as “in development”.
Facebook is launching a program called “Measure What Matters” in March to help marketers learn more about measurement principles. One track will offer programming for branding oriented campaigns and another will focus on measurement for direct response campaigns.
The programming will be offered on the Facebook Business website and on Facebook Live and in-person events.