Facebook Improves Advertising Algorithm

Brands are focused on a more mature advertising ecosystem to help build desire and demand yet this is optimization of lousy direct response metrics

Social media giant, Facebook has decided to stop billing advertisers for users that only last is less than two seconds on the page they were redirected to by a mobile ad. A less than two seconds stay is a clear signal that a person only accidentally clicked on an ad according to Brett Vogel, Facebook’s product marketing manager.

Facebook also plans to set new standards on how ads are placed or made in their audience network. This is to lessen the probability of sending people to other pages due to accidental clicks.

Facebook Audience Network, or FAN, is an advertising network used by games, apps, and publishers to display ads similar to the ones shown on the social network.

The new update is only available on FAN and not FB’s own mobile properties. There have been reports of publishers intentionally making accidental clicks easier such as suddenly displaying ads on applications that require tapping the screen multiple times.

“It may be short-term profitable for publishers,” Vogel said about publishers then using this technique to earn money. “But it doesn’t add any value for people or advertisers. And it’s not in the long-term interest of publishers looking to sustain a profitable business.”

Facebook announced the change last Tuesday along with other updates such as how their platform report metrics to advertisers.

Facebook has been clearly trying to improve their transparency with advertisers ever since an issue occurred last year involving advertisers being given wrong data on the performance of their ads.

“Invalid clicks are a pervasive issue, particularly on mobile devices,” said Jalal Nasir, CEO of the digital ad measurement company Pixalate. “Many marketers still optimize toward clicks, and some sellers are taking advantage of this by optimizing their placements and code to generate more invalid clicks and reap the benefits. The ability to identify and eliminate invalid clicks should be on everyone’s checklist.”

Pixalate’s data shows that 5.8% of clicks on display ads are often accidental.

“Brands are focused on a more mature advertising ecosystem to help build desire and demand yet this is optimization of lousy direct response metrics,” said Jason Kint, CEO of Digital Content Next. “The entire discussion is akin to your mail carrier preventing your junk mail from getting wet.”

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