Pivot to the Truth? Facebook Lied About Video Stats, Advertisers Say

Facebook Artificially Inflated their Video Numbers Leading News Organizations to Fire Journalists in a Pivot to Video

They added: "Suggestions that we in any way tried to hide this issue from our partners are false". "Facebook engineers knew for over a year". A lawsuit alleges that Facebook knew about the error earlier and that it went much deeper than they admitted.

Executives at the social media behemoth vehemently deny allegations that it misled users and knowingly hid data about the efficacy of video ads on the platform.

"In June 2016, a Facebook engineering manager finally followed up on advertiser complaints dating back to early 2015, writing that '[s] omehow there was no progress on the task for a year, '" claimed the lawsuit. But now it only seems Portal is another cog in the company's dense advertising machine.

The plaintiffs also said the inflation of the metrics ran to 150-900%, not 60-80%.

"Facebook's action rises to the level of fraud and may warrant punitive damages", attorneys for for the marketing firms claim in their lawsuit, whose full text is available online.

"About a month ago, we found an error in the way we calculate one of the video metrics on our dashboard-average duration of video viewed", David Fischer, a Facebook vice president, wrote. "We told our customers about the error when we discovered it - and updated our help center to explain the issue", a company spokesperson said.

Ever since it disclosed the metric error to advertisers, Facebook has allowed more third-party measurement companies to validate its data, and allows regular audits by the Media Rating Council. The issue ultimately isn't that Facebook was overcharging marketers due to inflated views, but rather that those inflated views made its platform appear a more valuable video viewing destination, which would, in turn, attract more advertising dollars. "The metric should have reflected the total time spent watching a video divided by the total number of people who played the video". Many industry experts believe that Facebook's continued growth is closely correlated with its ability to convince advertisers that users are really watching a growing amount of video content. "Facebook ignored reports from advertisers of aberrant results caused by Facebook's method of calculation".

You've probably noticed a lot more videos popping up in your Facebook feed this past year or so. Facebook makes up about 25 percent of United States video ad spending, according to eMarketer.

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