Facebook Beefs Up Ad Analytics

Adds detailed metrics, attribution window

Advertisers are spending a lot more money on Facebook, and naturally they want to know more about how their paid campaigns are performing. So Facebook is doing something about it.

The company’s product manager for Pages Insights David Baser said that over the next couple weeks Facebook will roll out more granular metrics intended to provide a more detailed view at what sort of actions resulted from specific Facebook ads.

Per Baser, the actions brands will be able to measured “could be anything [such as] liking, commenting or sharing a page post, claiming an offer, or, instead of just installing an app, actually using an app or doing things within an app."

Previously advertisers had only been able to measure page links or app installs. The new measurement system will be available for all Facebook ads but is designed for ads that direct on-site actions, said Baser.

On top of the new metrics Facebook is opening up the attribution window so that advertisers can trace an action like a comment back to an ad served up to 28 days prior. Given the industry-wide challenge with online ad attribution, and the general disdain for last-click attribution, the broader window could help Facebook cut into search budget allocations.

Additionally the broader suite of analytics will result in expanded ad optimization capabilities through Facebook’s Ads API, according to Baser. On top of optimizing for page likes or app installs, advertisers should be able to boost metrics such as offer claims, Facebook’s “People Talking About” metric, app use and “even potentially sales within an app,” Baser said.

Facebook's ad business has been tainted to a degree by brands looking to engineer how many likes or fans they accumulate. But Baser said he hopes the new analytics offering will incentivize advertisers to optimize Faecbook campaigns toward improved user engagement rather than simply accruing clicks. That goal aligns with Facebook’s ongoing push towards ads functioning more as interaction instigators than promotional tools, as most prominently demonstrated during the company’s marketer conference in February.