Last week Adobe and IBM both came out with studies about how little impact Facebook had on referrals to sales on Black Friday’s online shoppers. Facebook then countered with their own evidence showing how they impacted traffic for retailers. Yes, there is surely an attribution modeling issue at hand here. But that is not the end of the discussion.

Facebook has been working on a new conversion tracking program that will allow advertisers to track view-though conversions.

View-through conversion rate is the percentage of users who view an ad and neglect to click on it, but within a certain period of time go to the advertiser’s associated conversion page and undertake the desired action. In other words, Facebook wants to claim that just because and ad showed up at some point on your page, weather you saw it or not, and eventually made it to an advertiser’s page.

So what’s my issue?

I actually saw an ad this morning and it caught my attention; there is a first time for everything. I started to read it and then it disappeared completely. Nearly a hundred+ refreshes and it still never showed up again. I’ll never make it to the advertisers page.

However, I did see an ad from one of my friend’s company (btw I love Hyperwear‘s products):

Sandbell Facebook ad from Hyperwear

While searching for the other ad, I discovered that when you click on the “see all” link by all the Facebook ads…

… it will take you to a page with “all the ads you are eligible for” and then you can click to see the ones Facebook believes you recently viewed:

Do you see the ad from above from Hyperwear? No question that I viewed that one. There are a few here that I recognize but most of them  believe that I have never seen. Do you think that perhaps  there might be a problem in how they attribute things?

Go ahead and try it yourself. Log into Facebook first.

1. Take notice of the ads on screen, or grab a screenshot.

2. Click to view all the ads.

3. Then click on “Recently viewed.”

How did Facebook do?

Are you willing to allow them to validate your advertising spend?

P.S. To be clear, I am NOT saying Facebook advertising doesn’t work, they may have some impact. What I am saying is that they seem to be getting desperate to prove their value at the expense of their advertisers.


Please share if you think others would benefit.