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Facebook Finally Admits That No One Really Watches Video On Facebook

Happy Friday, Facebook PR team!

Because modern media is basically a single clown car of half-baked ideas posing as a diverse business sector, Facebook has managed to reach a pinnacle of power that allows them to make entire media companies shift direction at their whim.


By changing up algorithms and re-evaluating its trust in human beings, Facebook spent a good part of this year essentially forcing many startups looking for attention on the internet to wildly rethink what they do and how they do it. One of the metrics Facebook has used to exert influence on corporate users is video engagement. In the era of obsessively trying to monetize how much Millennials look at so many screens, Facebook seemed to be the closest thing to alchemy, what with so many users spending a super high average of time viewing videos on its magical platform.

So much time was being spent on each video - according to Facebook's own data - that many media companies decided they should fire writers by the truckload, pivoting to doing more video in order to feed the beast of so many people who want to watch an online video all the way through (and who never click away instantaneously after being reflexively infuriated by the dipshit petty tyranny of auto-play, because when has that ever happened?). But despite the pain, it was all going to be worth it, because as long as Facebook could be trusted to deliver those engaged viewers, it would all come good in the end...

Big ad buyers and marketers are upset with Facebook Inc. after learning the tech giant vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform for two years, according to people familiar with the situation.
Several weeks ago, Facebook disclosed in a post on its “Advertiser Help Center” that its metric for the average time users spent watching videos was artificially inflated because it was only factoring in video views of more than three seconds. The company said it was introducing a new metric to fix the problem.

Oh. Well that sucks. And ad buyers are likely more than "upset" with Facebook, considering that they've been sold on horseshit numbers to make massive buys, it stands to reason that they're probably more like "furious." Especially considering that Facebook's numbers are the benchmark of a still nascent market...

Due to the miscalculated data, marketers may have misjudged the performance of video advertising they have purchased from Facebook over the past two years. It also may have impacted their decisions about how much to spend on Facebook video versus other video ad sellers such as Google’s YouTube, Twitter, and even TV networks.

But don't take our word for the ad world being rip-shit pissed at Zuckerberg and friends. Take theirs...

In its note to clients, [Publicis Media] said the change was an attempt to obfuscate Facebook’s earlier miscalculations.
“In an effort to distance themselves from the incorrect metrics, Facebook is deprecating [the old metrics] and introducing ‘new’ metrics in September. Essentially, they’re coming up with new names for what they were meant to measure in the first place,” the memo said.

Damn, Gina. Even in the media game, that's some hot fire.

But in a fun twist, Facebook's press relations team was dealt a secondary reason to reach for the Pepto this morning when The Daily Beast broke this fun nugget of news:

A Silicon Valley titan is putting money behind an unofficial Donald Trump group dedicated to “shitposting” and circulating internet memes maligning Hillary Clinton.
Oculus founder Palmer Luckey financially backed a pro-Trump political organization called Nimble America, a self-described “social welfare 501(c)4 non-profit” in support of the Republican nominee.

Other than a shared penchant for "Shitposting," you might be asking, what does this have to do with Facebook? Well...

Luckey sold his virtual reality company Oculus to Facebook for $2 billion in 2014, and Forbes estimates his current net worth to be $700 million. The 24-year-old told The Daily Beast that he had used the pseudonym “NimbleRichMan” on Reddit with a password given to him by the organization’s founders.

The money with which Luckey is funding his alt-right attack group, is at least mostly money he got from Facebook. And, sure you could say that we're maybe grasping at straws here, but let's let Palmer Luckey speak for himself...

Luckey insists he’s just the group’s money man—a wealthy booster who thought the meddlesome idea was funny. But he is also listed as the vice president of the group on its website...
“I’ve got plenty of money,” Luckey added. “Money is not my issue. I thought it sounded like a real jolly good time.”
But in another post written under Luckey’s Reddit pseudonym, there are echoes of a similar tech billionaire, Peter Thiel, who used his deep pockets to secretly fund a campaign against Gawker.

Thiel is also on Facebook's board and previous to the outing of Luckey, the most visible Trump supporter in Silicon Valley. So now we're looking at two fascinating figures bucking the Valley trend and endorsing the anti-immigration, tactily racist presidential campaign that Mark Zuckerberg (and his old pal Dustin Moskovitz) has publicly opposed. Unfortunately for Zuck, both figures have deep ties to Facebook.

But at least Luckey isn't implicating Facebook directly in this new endeavor...

“I came into touch with them over Facebook,” Luckey said of the band of trolls behind the operation. “It went along the lines of ‘hey, I have a bunch of money. I would love to see more of this stuff.’ They wanted to build buzz and do fundraising.”

Happy Friday, Facebook PR, now you know what everyday feels like for the kids over at Yahoo.

Facebook Overestimated Key Video Metric for Two Years’ [WSJ]

Palmer Luckey: The Facebook Near Billionaire Secretly Funding Trump’s Meme Machine [DailyBeast]



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