Carolyn Everson, Facebook's ads boss, informed its agency partners on Tuesday of the changes via email, which are due to be officially announced later on Wednesday.
Those updates are:
- The launch of a Measurement Council.
- Additional third-party verification measures.
- The introduction of a "Metrics FYI" blog series that will be upfront about more areas where Facebook has discovered errors and bugs.
In the email to agencies, seen by Business Insider, Everson explains that Facebook has conducted a review of more than 220 of its metrics and that it "did find a handful of bugs."
"Some are overstated, some are understated, but most importantly, none are billable metrics," Everson writes in the email.
The admittal comes after Everson said on stage at Advertising Week New York in September that the company "should have just said in public" it had discovered its video view count error, rather than just calling its clients.
The Wall Street Journal had made the matter public with a report earlier that month, revealing the social network had exaggerated its "average viewing time" metric by potentially as much as 80% for more than two years. The error has now been fixed.
"Our promise is we will and need to do better," Everson said at the Advertising Week New York event.
Facebook has found some more bugs in its measurement system
A "Metrics FYI" blog post, due to be published later on Wednesday, outlines some of the bugs Facebook found.
One bug, which had been ongoing since May, appeared on the Page Insights analytics section and affected the organic reach metric. The summary number showing 7-day or 28-day organic reach was miscalculated because it didn't de-duplicate repeat visitors.
Facebook says it is working on fixing the issue in the next few weeks. The result for page owners will be that their 7-day organic reach summary is likely to be 33% lower, while the 28-day summary will be 55% lower on average.
In addition, Facebook is updating its organic page reach metric to only include "viewable impressions". Before, page reach was calculated when a post was placed in the news feed, but the stricter definition only counts reach as when that post has actually appeared on the user's screen. The new change means organic page reach will be 20% lower on average.
There was also an issue found within Instant Articles -; the fast-loading content publishers upload direct to Facebook. It found the average time spent per article had been over-reported by 7-8%. The issue has now been fixed, according to Facebook.
Another area where Facebook had been overstating its numbers was a metric called "Referrals," which evaluates all the Facebook posts produced by people via an app or website. Facebook was only meant to count clicks that went directly to an app or website, but it was also counting other clicks on those posts, such as people clicking to view an image or video in full-screen. Some apps may have had their referral numbers overstated by 6% on average, Facebook said.
On the video front, Facebook found it was actually undercounting video completion rates. The bug usually occurred when the audio and video track didn't match up, so a user who watched the video to the end wasn't counted as a completion because the audio continued to play as they scrolled away. Facebook is fixing the issue and expects it to result in a 35% increase in the metric that shows whether videos were viewed 100% of the way through.
More measurement options and a client council
Facebook already works with dozens of third-party measurement providers -; like Nielsen, Moat, comScore, and Integral Ad Science -; but it now wants to look at ways third-parties can review the measurement reporting it offers its clients.
In addition, Facebook will announce on Wednesday it will allow advertisers to verify display impression data using third-party measurement companies so they can assess, independently, the amount of time ads were viewed for on screen.
As part of Facebook's bolstered commitment to measurement, the company is set to launch a Measurement Council. Facebook already has a client council -; made up of marketers and agency partners, who meet around once a quarter to offer Facebook advice and feedback on what it can do better -; and now it plans to form a council comprised from executives from the measurement industry too.
In the blog post announcing the changes, Facebook opens with this statement:
"Today we're updating our metrics to give our partners and the industry more clarity and confidence about the insights we provide.
We know that having access to reliable metrics is important to the millions of partners who use our services to grow their businesses. As our products evolve to meet the needs of the people and businesses that use them, our metrics will also evolve.
Our goal going forward is to communicate more regularly about our metrics, so that our partners can focus on doing what they do best - serving their customers - with the best insights possible."