Facebook Is Offering More Clarity on Some of Its Ad Metrics

About 20 that are ‘unhelpful’ will be removed in July

Facebook defined estimated metrics as those based on sampling or modeling Facebook
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Facebook announced Wednesday that it will begin labeling some metrics in its Ads Manager as estimated or in development, as well as removing about 20 metrics that are “unhelpful.”

The social network explained in a blog post that the estimated and in development labels will appear in tool tips within Ads Manager’s reporting table, as well as in the customize column selector for ads running across Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Audience Network.

Facebook defined estimated metrics as those based on sampling or modeling, saying that they can provide guidance for outcomes that are difficult to precisely quantify, and offering as an example, “Reach is an estimate of the number of people who saw an ad at least once. In order for us to report reach, we analyze the number of people who see an ad multiple times, de-duplicate them and then calculate the total number of unique people in real-time. To do this quickly, we sample the data and will therefore label it as estimated. This is also how reach is calculated for ads on TV and across other digital platforms.”

Just as the name suggests, metrics that are labeled as in development are either new or being tested, and the social network provided the following example: “Estimated ad recall lift is a metric used by brands to understand the differences between people who can recall a brand after seeing an ad compared with those who have not seen an ad. This kind of automated measurement is still new and requires both polling and machine learning. Because we use sampling to determine this metric, it will be labeled as estimated, and since we’re still gathering advertiser feedback on it, it will also be labeled as in development.”

Facebook also announced that some 20 ad metrics will be removed in July “that marketers have told us are redundant, outdated, not actionable or infrequently used.” The complete list is available here.

Vice president of marketing science Brad Smallwood detailed Wednesday’s announcements in the video below:

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.