A number of major marketers are unhappy with Facebook after finding out the company has been overestimating the average time its users spend viewing video ads on the platform, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The report, which cites sources who are familiar with the situation, says Facebook made the errant estimates for two years.
“Several weeks ago, Facebook disclosed in a post on its ‘Advertiser Help Center’ that its metric for the average time users spent watching videos was artificially inflated because it was only factoring in video views of more than three seconds,” WSJ reports. “The company said it was introducing a new metric to fix the problem.”
Ad agency execs pushed for more details, according to the report.
“Ad buying agency Publicis Media was told by Facebook that the earlier counting method likely overestimated average time spent watching videos by between 60% and 80%, according to a late August letter Publicis Media sent to clients that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal,” the report adds.
Facebook issued an apology today in a Web post, where David Fischer, vice president of business and marketing partnerships, wrote: “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. While this is only one of the many metrics marketers look at, we take any mistake seriously.”