Facebook has for the fourth time in recent months owned up to providing marketers with inaccurate data, this time revealing it has been underreporting iPhone traffic on some Instant Articles.
In a blog post published yesterday (16 December) Facebook said that its metrics partner comScore alerted the social giant to the issue, which it said has now been fixed, and has informed the affected publishers. It did not specify which publishers were affected.
"ComScore alerted us to the issue, and we’ve since identified this is a result of a recent Facebook update that impacted publishers using our legacy comScore integration who support HTTPS on their websites," read the post. "This caused an underreporting of iPhone traffic from Facebook in comScore products between Sep 20 to Nov 30, 2016...We have fixed the issue and are working with comScore to produce updated estimates for the relevant time periods for the small group of partners affected. We have reached out to affected publishers."
Instant Articles is a mobile publishing format that enables news publishers to distribute articles to Facebook's app that load and display faster than standard mobile web. Buzzfeed and the Guardian are among publishers currently Instant Articles.
The admission comes just months after the social network admitted that it had been “undercounting” metrics for completed, or 100%, video views – because the audio may play for a bit longer than the video does. It noted that this could lead to “roughly a 35% increase in the count of “video watches at 100%”.
Facebook is opening itself up to more third party measurement in a bid to stop the spread of negative sentiment among advertisers that’s building in the wake of its admission of more miscalculated metrics.