April 1, 2020
Facebook Instant Articles metrics

Facebook Instant Articles Metrics Discrepancy Disclosed

A new Facebook Instant Articles metrics miscalculation error found by comScore, creates discrepancies between mobile iPhone traffic and other devices…

Facebook reported an Instant Articles metrics misestimation late last week. ComScore, a measurement firm, found the error, which affected mobile iPhone traffic. The miscalculation caused an undercount in iPhone user mobile traffic on the company’s Instant Articles platform from September 20th through November 30th.

Slightly Flawed Facebook Instant Articles Metrics Revealed by the Social Network

Facebook wrote in its business blog, “We’ve uncovered an issue for a small group of Instant Articles publishers that impacts reporting in comScore. 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.”

However, the error did not impact mobile Instant Articles traffic from Android devices or iPads. This marks the fourth measurement data reporting error within the social platform since September of this year.

“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,” Facebook explained.

A person familiar with the matter told the Wall Street Journal some publishers’ undercounted traffic ranged from 10 percent to 20 percent. But another source stated the error impacted less than 1 percent of Instant Articles traffic. A publisher affected by the bad count reported its unique user number being approximately off by 30 percent.

Sites which experienced the largest discrepancies were the Washington Post, BuzzFeed, Mic, Entrepreneur, Foreign Policy, Inverse, PopSugar and Variety.

At the beginning of last week, Facebook announced it fixed its faulty data problem, though it did the company discover and disclose another discrepancy affecting the number of Shares.

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