Facebook to reduce unintentional ad clicks, announces new metrics

MUMBAI: Facebook, last October, outlined what it will take to create a healthy advertising ecosystem: great experiences for people, meaningful business results for advertisers, and sustainable growth for publishers.

Ad placements that are built to drive unintentional clicks run counter to that goal. While they can be profitable for publishers, they fail to deliver good experiences for businesses or people. For advertisers, these kinds of unintentional clicks can drive down the value of their campaigns.

Over the next few months, Facebook will be making updates to stop delivering to ad placements that encourage unintentional clicks. These updates include policy clarifications on unintentional clicks, product changes to invalidate these clicks, and proactively pausing implementations that exhibit abnormal click behavior.

Removing unintentional clicks from Audience Network: When browsing across the web or in an app, ads may pop up in places that cause people to accidentally click on them.

Facebook is no longer counting Audience Network clicks where people “bounce back” in under 2 seconds. FB found that these clicks are almost always unintentional.

Total campaign impressions: FB is providing two new metrics to offer clarity on the number of ads shown to people including gross impressions, auto-refresh impressions.

Utilizing Signals About Intentional Clicks

To understand if a click is intentional, one of the metrics FB looks at in FB delivery models and quality detection systems is “drop off rates” — the time a user spends on the landing page of an ad. Facebook found that people who click on an Audience Network ad and spend less than 2 seconds on a destination page almost always clicked accidentally. Moving forward, FB will no longer count clicks categorised as unintentional. Facebook will continually refine and adjust this threshold as Facebook gathers more data and signals.

Pausing Implementations with Abnormal Behavior

Publishers sometimes create ad experiences that fail to deliver true advertiser value. This can be due to implementation error, or because the ad is in the wrong flow of the app experience. When Facebook sees abnormal behavior, such as an inflated click-through rate (CTR), it will automatically pause placements to protect people and advertisers. Facebook also inform publishers so they can make necessary changes.

Clarifying FB Policies

FB also heard from publishers that they want more examples of FB policies, and specifically how to create better native ad experiences. So it recently updated FB policies with clear examples to avoid unintentional clicks (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/audience-network/policy), and went a step further by introducing a new policy that prohibits clickable “whitespace” on native ads. By requiring users to click on an advertiser asset, FB expects to see further reduction in unintentional clicks.

Going forward, FB will be experimenting with more ways to reduce the number of unintentional clicks by looking further into bounce rates, additional metrics, and trying to prevent users from accidentally clicking in the first place.

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