Facebook Debuts ‘Lift API’ to Give More Marketers Ability to Study Ads’ Impact

Measurement space continues to heat up

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In the digital ads world, the past few months have been all about emerging measurement tools. With that in mind, Facebook today is announcing two intriguing initiatives that it is characterizing as tests. 

The first is called Lift API, which will let many more advertisers, Facebook's marketing partners and other third-party measurement partners create their own lift studies for conversion rates, sales and mobile app installs. It builds on the Lift measurement tool the social media giant initially announced in January 2015, which has since been employed by more than 1,000 businesses in various industries to gauge Facebook ads' effectiveness across their objectives. Facebook has often itself leaned on conversion-lift analysis work—in conjunction with brands—to market its ads, so the company is increasingly giving outsiders a developmental platform to measure campaigns themselves in the hopes that it bolsters its already gaudy revenues

The second element being revealed on Wednesday attempts to tackle how marketers often encounter problems with understanding which ads lead to conversions (sales, forms filled out, etc.) due to cookies. Facebook is testing new fields/categories in its ad reporting, which "will help advertisers understand which ads people saw or clicked on before a bottom-funnel conversion, such as making a purchase or becoming a qualified lead," a company rep wrote in an email. 

The rep explained further: "People discover products in new places, they're using multiple devices on their path to purchase, and they're purchasing both in-store and online, making it difficult for advertisers to understand which of their advertising efforts are working. Measuring through cookies and clicks fail advertisers as information produced based on these methods can mislead advertisers about how well their ads are working or how people get from discovery to purchase. That's why we believe in people-based measurement and measurement methodologies, which more accurately show which ads are driving business value."

Indeed, the core concept behind each iteration is providing marketers with better measurement.

Facebook is the latest notable player to unveil insights upgrades for advertisers, with Snapchat, Foursquare and a bevy of tech vendors also recently making waves with measurement offerings. 

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.