Aldo Agostinelli

After the recent troubles had both with regard to video metrics and Instant Articles, Facebook has opened up to third parties to outsource more specific and through checks. Advertisers have been paying more lately, but data are more reliable. However, reliable doesn’t mean satisfying: actually expectations in terms of visibility have not been met.

When we talk about visibility with reference to advertising, we the actual visibility of a video or a banner, calculated by applying a set of given criteria identified by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). When it comes to standard ads, 50% of the pixels shall be visible in the browser window for at least 1 second; for bigger ads only 30% of the pixels shall be visible for 1 second whereas 50% of the pixels of videos shall be visible for 2 seconds.

The fact is, the 1 second threshold is often not respected on Facebook.  And if we consider the parameters taken into consideration by the social media, this is not surprising at all.  During the latest Business Insider’s Ignition held in New York, Andrew Bosworth, Facebook Vice President, explained to Business Insider that the social media defines every ad viewed/watched by a real person for more than 0 seconds as an impression. And this is obviously really different from what prescribed by the IAB.

According to Drew Huening, Managing Director of Accuen – Omnicom Media Group, if on one hand the giant from Menlo Park is actually doing very well in creating a digital eco system for users, especially mobile ones, on the other hand people are so fast in browsing through pages and change windows that ads, especially static ones, and videos, are definitely penalized. In Huening’s opinion, anyway, such realization will not necessary lead to a reduction in the investments made by advertisers: if they could be happy to have their ads viewed for just a millisecond, it would be enough to recalibrate the advertising market to satisfy such requirement, for instance reducing costs on the basis of the actual visualization time.

Many analysists think that Facebook uniqueness – it is not comparable to YouTube or Snapchat – implies that advertising will have to be redesigned to suit marketers.  Still, Menlo Park is taking its time.

According to Bosworth, instead, a broader analysis has to be carried out, so as to take into consideration the diversification of the offers put forward by social media (among which the “100% in view impressions” formula ) and of the quality of the ads themselves.

Therefore, visibility is crucial but it is not all. The quality of the overall context in which an add is broadcast is important as well even though instead of bots there are people who may make it more profitable for the advertisers.

Business Insider (Facebook ads are ‘far less viewable’ than some advertisers were expecting) has claimed that, all in all, what really matters for advertisers is the ultimate effect of their campaigns and the profit which may be generated by the consequent sale of their products and/or services. Will such logic convince marketers who have been disappointed by the results shown by real metrics?

What do you think about metrics and visibility? What is more important: the quality or quantity of impressions? I would like to get your comments. Send a tweet to @agostinellialdo.

If you have liked this post, we may get to know more about this issue by reading Facebook: more metrics mistakes

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Aldo Agostinelli