Mobile ads were about 84% of Facebook’s advertising revenue for the Q4 2016–but it looks like they’re going to have to give some of that back to their advertisers.
If you noticed your clicks-to-site from carousel ads numbers took a nosedive, you’re not imagining.
Remember back when BigCommerce and Shopify were accidentally overreporting AdWords conversions? Just like any advertising platform (or piece of technology), Facebook has its bugs.
Today we’ll clarify what happened, who was affected, and how you can report bugs to the Facebook team in the future.
With this bug, advertisers saw more clicks to their site than they should have on their Facebook reports–but not across all of their ads.
This reporting bug only applied to video carousels with a link click target accessed by mobile web browsers (not via desktop or app).
When users clicked to expand carousel ads, it registered as website clicks on the back end.
Will I Get Paid?
Not unless you were one of the -0.04% of advertisers who were affected.
Advertisers had to be using the click-to-site target on a video Carousel Ad and have users check out their post in a mobile web browser–not the Facebook app.
That last piece of information matters because most people use apps on their phones, not browsers.
According to data from Flurry, “86% of smartphone time is spent in an app”.
Yes, it is a little disappointing to hear that your Carousel Ads didn’t send as many people to your website as you though they did, but if you were affected, you’ll get a full credit for the charges you incurred for these misattributed clicks, according to Facebook.
Past Facebook Bugs
Wondering what other Facebook bugs have been uncovered? Here are a few from Facebook’s Newsroom, along with the team’s explanations:
- Page Insights
“On one of our Pages dashboards, one summary number showing 7-day or 28-day organic page reach was miscalculated as a simple sum of daily reach instead of de-duplicating repeat visitors over those periods (see red circle in screenshot below)…[The] de-duplicated 7-day summary in the overview dashboard will be 33% lower on average and 28-day will be 55% lower; data in other fields is unaffected.”
- Instant Articles – Time Spent
“…the average time spent per article had been over-reported by 7-8% on average since August of last year.”
- Analytics for Apps – Referrals
“In our Facebook Analytics for Apps dashboard, one metric called “Referrals” is miscalculated…[W]e meant to count clicks that went directly to an app or website; however, we’ve also counted other clicks on those posts via the app or website, including clicks to view photos or video…[F]or power users of this metric (top apps that look at this data in the dashboard most frequently), we found that referrals have been overstated by approximately 6% on average. Other measurements of referrals, such as those appearing in Facebook’s ads reporting tools, are unaffected.”
How to Report a Facebook Bug or Broken Feature
If you don’t have a direct rep within Facebook, you can report a broken feature or bug according to Facebook’s instructions.
- Click the blue question mark in the top-right corner of a Facebook page (ex: your home page)
- Select Report a Problem and follow the on-screen instructions
- In the top-right corner, click Help
- At the bottom of the help menu, click Report a Problem
- Select Report a Problem again
- Fill in the details and click Send Report
At the end of the day, we’re not super concerned with this bug, and we don’t think it will have an extremely negative effect on advertisers.
In the future, if your goal is to get clicks to your site, it’s a good rule of thumb to double check those CTRs from Facebook within Google Analytics.
We certainly appreciate Facebook’s clarity around these issues, and hope they will continue to be clear in the future and take quick action when things go wrong.
Have you been affected by this bug or other Facebook bugs? Share in the comments!