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Why Facebook’s Push Toward A Standard Of Viewed Impressions Is A Boon For Advertisers
Instead of the traditional 'served' impression, Facebook is working for a standardized 'viewed' impression to help feed-based sites offer advertisers more value and less mystery.
For the longest time, the served impression has ruled the land of online advertisers. In this format an impression is counted whenever an ad has been fired, whether or not the served ad has been viewed. Today, Facebook has released an in-depth post as to why this isn’t the best way for advertisers to track their ad dollars. Why? Because “if an ad is viewed it has a greater chance to drive value for an advertiser.”
The viewability metric that Facebook prefers are ‘viewed impressions.’ With this metric, advertisers are only charged when an ad (or any part of an ad) makes its appearance on a screen. No ad seen? No viewed impression. This definition from Facebook of a viewed impression will also be rolling out to organic content for businesses.
Facebook’s push towards new viewed impressions standards is an important argument for advertisers. In a world where CPM based ads have staggered due to inefficiency, vCPM may make impression based buying more appealing. Facebook is now working with the Media Rating Council (MRC) and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to set viewed impressions as the web standard.
Currently, the MRC’s standard for a viewable impression is when a user has the “opportunity to see” an ad while the IAB states that in the US an impression is “recorded at a point as late as possible in the process of delivery of the creative material to the user’s browser — therefore closest to actual opportunity to see by the user.” Facebook’s argument against served ads is that the overall effectiveness may be degraded as the ads may not even be seen, a valid point. By unifying the standards for feed-based websites, Facebook believes that consistency, fair-pricing and better value will arise for advertisers.
“We’re working closely with Facebook and they’re doing compelling research around the viewable status and value of advertising of all types of impressions on their media, including those that quickly come in and out of view on a person’s screen. We will continue to collaborate and ensure that we consider the learning relevant to feed-based, mobile focused publishers in our viewable impression standard going forward.”
Facebook’s discussion on this topic and push from served impressions to viewed impressions will benefit advertisers, and hopefully CPM based ad buys. For more information see the official Facebook post on the Facebook for Business blog.