Thursday, November 17, 2016 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Facebook’s Metrics Found to Be Exaggerated

Nick Heer:

Back in 2013, Facebook announced that they had become the leading source of traffic to media companies, to the tune of about 40% of their total referrals. That’s a huge number and, right or wrong, publications became somewhat reliant upon the traffic Facebook was sending their way.

[…]

Every major media company should be seriously reconsidering their commitments to Facebook right now. Between their seemingly uncaring attitude towards bogus news sites, their algorithmic fluctuations for legitimate publications, and their ongoing inflation of their statistics, Facebook shows that they simply don’t care about the state of the media.

Also:

So, to summarize, Zuckerberg is arguing that Facebook users absolutely cannot have their voting decisions swayed by posts on the social network, and that’s why advertisers should pay to promote political parties and candidates on Facebook.

Update (2016-11-21): Issie Lapowsky:

Throughout the last year-and-a-half, stories about the imbalance between Clinton’s ad spending compared to Trump’s proliferated. They noted how Clinton spent more than $200 million on television ads in the final months of the election while Trump spent less than half that. Because Trump wasn’t spending as much on television all along, it seemed like his team wasn’t investing in changing anyone’s minds. But they were: they were just doing it online.

[…]

Coby’s team took full advantage of the ability to perform massive tests with its ads. On any given day, Coby says, the campaign was running 40,000 to 50,000 variants of its ads, testing how they performed in different formats, with subtitles and without, and static versus video, among other small differences. On the day of the third presidential debate in October, the team ran 175,000 variations. Coby calls this approach “A/B testing on steroids.” The more variations the team was able to produce, Coby says, the higher the likelihood that its ads would actually be served to Facebook users.

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