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Facebook inflated video-viewing metrics for two years

Knowing how popular videos are is critical for advertisers to know what works and what doesn’t,according to the newspaper, a new metric is being introduced to correct the problem.

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FILE - A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Samsung S4 smartphone in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. Yahoo

Sept 27,2016: Facebook has revealed, it overestimated the amount of time people spent on the site watching videos over the time period of two years.

“We recently discovered an error in the way we calculate one of our video metrics,” the company said in a statement. “This error has been fixed, it did not impact billing, and we have notified our partners both through our product dashboards and via sales and publisher outreach.”

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One ad buying firm, Publicis Media, told The Wall Street Journal that the social media behemoth overestimated the amount by between 60 and 80 percent, calling the problem “unacceptable.”

Knowing how popular videos are is critical for advertisers to know what works and what doesn’t. Traffic metrics also drive ad pricings. According to the newspaper, a new metric is being introduced to correct the problem.

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The problem stemmed from what Facebook called the “average duration of video viewed,” which sounds self-explanatory, but the social media giant was not counting views of fewer than three seconds. This drastically inflated the numbers.

Facebook has said it fixed the issue, but Publicis says the problem shows the need for third-party verification of Facebook metrics. (VOA)

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Social Media Giant Facebook Releases Maps to Help Fight Disease Outbreak

Public health officials often have challenges predicting where disease outbreaks, like malaria or cholera, will strike

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FILE - An Indian man surfs a Facebook page at an Internet cafe in New Delhi, India, Feb. 9, 2016. VOA

In a bid to fight disease outbreaks, Facebook has built new maps that can help its health partners better understand where people live, how they are moving and whether they have connectivity.

“All of these maps, when combined with information from health systems, can improve the way organisations deliver supplies and respond to outbreaks,” Laura McGorman and Alex Pompe, Data for Good, Facebook, wrote in a blog on Monday.

The high-resolution population density maps estimate not only the number of people living within 30-meter grid tiles, but also provide insights on demographics, including the number of children under five, the number of women of reproductive age, as well as young and elderly populations, at high resolutions.

“These maps aren’t built using Facebook data and instead rely on combining the power of machine vision AI with satellite imagery and census information,” McGorman and Pompe said.

“By combining these publicly and commercially available datasets with Facebook’s AI capabilities, we have created population maps that are 3X more detailed than any other source,” they wrote.

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FILE – The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

But Facebook used its data on over two billion users to create movement maps.

Public health officials often have challenges predicting where disease outbreaks, like malaria or cholera, will strike.

However, research has found that pairing health system information with data on human mobility can yield valuable insights about diseases spread by human-to-human contact.

Also Read- Microsoft May Take a Call on Windows 10 Updates to Huawei Laptops

“Our movement maps aggregate information from people who are using Facebook on their mobile phones with location services enabled, providing real-time snapshots into mobility patterns,” the social networking giant said.

Because the majority of people use Facebook on mobile phones that rely on cellular networks, the social networking giant has also created real-time maps that show health organisations whether people can be reached with an online message in advance of activities like vaccination days or bed net distributions. (IANS)