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  • Another interesting story you worked on about Facebook today.

  • Analyst reported out that Facebook is saying it can reach people who don't exist.

  • In fact, by ten million.

  • They're inflating these numbers of people that they say exist that this analyst says don't exist.

  • Explain what's happening here.

  • Ok, so on one hand we're talking about the estimated reach of a Facebook ad.

  • On the other hand, we're talking about the numbers that are in the US census.

  • So Facebook says it can reach more people that are in the US census.

  • Of course that implies that... in Facebook, which is a place where we have real names,

  • we have identities, Facebook sells its advertising based on that.

  • There might be some fake names, fake identities or duplicate accounts or whatever it might be.

  • What Facebook says in response is that they don't mean to totally match the census.

  • In fact, in a lot of geographic regions,

  • there are often visitors or people who are in a place that are not actual residents of that place.

  • And that the advertisers only pay for the people that they reach.

  • So, this analyst report is coming from Brian Wieser of Pivotal.

  • And I'm curious... He's saying there's like a ten million dollar, ten million person difference.

  • I mean, do these other kinds of people that Facebook is talking about... Can they really be ten million of them?

  • Ten million tourists in America?

  • Yeah, I think that what this comes back to is this debate we've had for more than a year now

  • about how much we can really trust metrics on digital properties.

  • And Facebook had a little bit of controversy last year

  • when it said that they inflated some metrics it was giving advertisers.

  • They fixed those problems.

  • They weren't related to billing,

  • but it did cause a ripple effect in the advertising industry

  • where people were thinking...

  • We don't really know if all of the people that Facebook says we're reaching

  • are actually people or if they're fake accounts,

  • or if they are actually looking at these ads,

  • or if it's click fraud.

  • In that case, it would be like a bot clicking on the ad which is not actually human.

  • So they've been trying to fix their system,

  • they've been trying to work with third-party verifiers,

  • to make sure that these numbers are legit.

  • Meanwhile, this report from Wieser at Pivotal Research

  • gives more fodder to this argument from advertisers that they need more transparency from Facebook.

Another interesting story you worked on about Facebook today.

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B1 US facebook analyst census people ad exist

Facebook May Be Overestimating Its Ad Reach

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    Ann posted on 2017/09/07
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