Facebook miscalculated the average time viewers spend watching videos on its social network by 60-80%, drawing criticism from big ad buyers and online marketers. They’ve since issued an apology, but have not committed to refunding any money to their affected advertisers.
In a Facebook post, David Fischer, the VP of Business and Marketing Partnerships, provided more details about how the largest social network discovered about a month ago the error in calculating the average time users spent watching videos. The statement read as follows:
“The metric should have reflected the total time spent watching a video divided by the total number of people who played the video. But it didn’t – it reflected the total time spent watching a video divided by only the number of ‘views’ of a video (that is, when the video was watched for three or more seconds),” Mr. Fischer wrote. “And so the miscalculation overstated this metric. While this is only one of the many metrics marketers look at, we take any mistake seriously.”
Fischer has also stated that the issue has been fixed and all affected partners were notified.