Facebook finds more exaggerated ad data

A self-audit has revealed flawed metrics, and the company is determined to fix them.

After Facebook realized that it had been overstating video views for years, it conducted an internal review to search for more flaws messing with its ad data… and it’s not happy with what it found. The social network reports that it found multiple problems with how it calculated or represented the info that marketers thrive on. It wasn’t always counting end-to-end video playback properly, for example, since clip lengths would occasionally change when you started streaming. Facebook also over-reported how long people spent reading Instant Articles, and included more clicks and views than it should in some dashboards.

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How Facebook can escape the echo chamber

Facebook may have built an influence so large that it’s cracking under the weight of the power and influence of its News Feed.

Mark Zuckerberg began an interview on stage at Techonomy16 discussing the evolution of the News Feed and Facebook’s impact on the election. Post-election, journalists politicians, and pundits have questioned Facebook’s role in shaping the campaign and its outcome , debating the merits of Facebook’s position of primacy as a source of information.

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Zuckerberg claims 99% of Facebook posts “authentic,” denies fake news there influenced election

In case you missed it, last night Mark Zuckerberg published a response to accusations that “fake news” on Facebook influenced the outcome of the U.S. election, and helped Donald Trump to win.

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Instagram chief confirms live video is coming to the platform

But he didn’t say when it will become available.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom has confirmed to The Financial Times that the Facebook-owned company is bringing live videos to the photo-sharing app. Systrom said in the interview: “Live is really exciting for us. I think it can enhance what we’re doing. If I’m trying to strengthen relationships with someone I love, them streaming video to me live would be an amazing way to be closer to them.” The feature first surfaced last month as an experimental offering in Russia, where some users spotted an icon clearly marked “Live” next to a row of Instagram Stories.

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A Facebook bug killed off people before they were dead

The social media death and resurrection show.

Well, this is awkward. Facebook incorrectly flagged some people’s profile pages with a message saying that the person was deceased. And it looks like the glitch was pretty widespread: even founder Mark Zuckerberg had apparently ceased to be. A banner at the top of his profile page read, “We hope people who love Mark will find comfort in the thing others share to remember and celebrate his life.” A number of Engadget staffers had passed on as well; we weren’t just pining.

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Facebook Messenger is testing “Instant Games” like this one from King

Facebook Messenger is preparing to launch a new “Instant Games” platform that will let people  play lightweight games against friends. Candy Crush maker King.com is already testing one of these Instant Games called “Shuffle Cats Mini” in New Zealand, TechCrunch has discovered. And other studios including Big Viking also appear to be prepping for the Instant Games launch.

Facebook has been largely shut out of the native mobile gaming world by Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. But by building games into Messenger by using it as a portal to mobile web apps, Facebook could create a new platform that drives Messenger engagement. Users could come to Messenger to play Instant Games, challenge friends via Facebook Messages, and potentially earn Facebook a cut of in-game purchases. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Facebook, Amazon, Google, IBM and Microsoft come together to create historic Partnership on AI

The world’s largest technology companies hold the keys to some of the largest databases on our planet. Much like goods and coins before it, data is becoming an important currency for the modern world. The data’s value is rooted in its applications to artificial intelligence. Whichever company owns the data, effectively owns AI. Right now that means companies like Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, IBM and Microsoft have a ton of power.

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Facebook has been exaggerating video views for two years

By throwing out views of less than three seconds, it overestimated average viewing times.

So here’s a funny thing about Facebook videos: it turns out people actually weren’t watching them nearly as much as the social network said. The Wall Street Journal reports that since it introduced video ads in 2014, the company miscalculated average viewing time because it didn’t include views that lasted less than three seconds. An ad buying agency says it was told by Facebook that average time spent viewing was likely overestimated by 60 to 80 percent.

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Facebook test highlights what your friends are talking about

Another day, another Facebook experiment.

Facebook’s new experimental feature shows you status updates you might have missed otherwise. Mashable has spotted a box marked “What friends are talking about,” which lists a few of your friends’ posts in a single box on top of your feed, in the company’s Android app. We weren’t able to replicate the experience on either Android or iOS (or even on a computer), but that’s not exactly surprising. Only very few people get access to the social network’s features in their experimental stage, so you’ll have to check your own apps to see if you’ve been chosen.

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Facebook opens up Messenger to ad bots

Users must initiate interactions and can block them at any time, though.

Right now, Facebook lets Messenger bots from brands like Expedia and HP help you make a purchase, but they can’t try to sell you a new product. However, a policy change means those automated assistants will soon be able to send subscription messages, ads and promotions for services like makeup consultations. If you’re worried about spam, Facebook emphasized that the user is in control. “All conversations between businesses and people must be initiated by the person receiving the messages, who can then mute or block the business at any time,” wrote Product Manager Seth Rosenberg.

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