Following updates made to metric names and definitions last November, and several tweaks to its ad reporting, Facebook is now updating its metric names again, to bring more clarity to the reporting process.
Facebook got into some trouble last year, when several of its ads metrics were disputed, as this calls into question the reliability of its ads reporting mechanism. So, in parallel with the changes to fix the bugs that were causing problems, Facebook has been updating the names of metrics “to help drive consistency and clarity across [its] ads reporting metrics. The updates back in November were only the first in a series of changes. Now, Facebook is at it again.
The changes are only to names of metrics (except where noted). Facebook says that no numbers or data will change, and that calculations will also remain the same. Most metric names are so close to the old ones that you may not glean any additional information about the metrics themselves, but there are others that specify something important.
For example, “Mobile App Starts” is now “Mobile App Sessions.” The change from “Starts” to “Sessions” is telling, as the later may be better at expressing what the metric actually measures. A similar approach is the change from “Apps Uses” to “Desktop App Uses” as it specifies that the metric has been calculated based on desktop users. Similarly, “App Story Engagement” changes to “Desktop App Story Engagement,” and “App Engagement” changes to “Desktop App Engagement.”
Metrics such as “Add Payment Info (Facebook Pixel)” or “Add to Cart (Facebook Pixel)” or others with the “Facebook Pixel” specification have changed to reflect that the old tracking pixel is now obsolete. The metrics I mentioned have become “Website Adds of Payment Info” and “Website Adds to Cart” respectively. Finally, “Website Actions (All)” has changed to “Website Conversions,” which, I must say, is good news!
In a blog post announcing the changes, Facebook says that
[quote]you can toggle back and forth between the old and new metric names in Ads Manager between March 14 and April 13, 2017. Starting on April 14, we will only display the new names. If you currently use these metrics in non-Facebook analytics software or Excel macros, you may need to make updates to use the new names.[/quote]
The full list of updated metric names can be found here.
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