Facebook Just Owned Up to Misreporting Likes, Reactions and Shares to Brands

Its metrics come under scrutiny again

In a blog post today, Facebook admitted to miscalculating more of its marketing stats that companies look at to gauge the effectiveness of their efforts. The move marks the third time since September that the digital giant has revealed that it's misled brands. 

The company has been miscalculating the number of likes and shares it shows for web links via its API, or application programming interface. It has also been misrepresenting the number of likes and reaction emojis marketers see for their live videos. 

Facebook detailed the latter situation this way:

In page insights in the column for "Reactions on Post," however, we show only one reaction per unique user. We misallocated the extra reactions per user that happened during the live broadcast to the "Reactions from Shares of Post" section, instead of counting them in the "Reactions on Post" section, so we're making a change to correct it. Note that total counts were and are correct; some of them were just captured in the wrong reporting column when broken out. The fix for this issue will apply to newly created Live videos, starting mid-December. It will increase "Reactions on Post" by 500 percent on average and will decrease them on "Reactions from Shares of Post" by 25 percent on average (actual impact to specific videos may vary).

However, the latest issues do not rise to the level of some of Facebook's higher profile problems like conceding that its video view metrics had been inflated or admitting to misreporting stats for Instant Articles. 

The blog post also included an update to Facebook's ad-creation system, as it will now be able to estimate the potential reach of a campaign more accurately. Facebook said it has enhanced its accuracy for sampling and projecting the estimated number of consumers an appeal will reach.