The third quarter earnings report that came out from Facebook last week had some great news for the company.
Ad revenue was up, number of users were up, and the company is getting through the whole “Russia Fake News” issue without much of a problem at all. Despite what you’ll likely read most places, however, the news wasn’t entirely positive.
Buried within the earnings report there were a couple pieces of information that aren’t so good. First, Facebook has raised the number of estimated duplicate accounts on their social network from approximately 6% to 10%. This is quite a big jump when you’re talking about 2.07 billion total user accounts. On top of that, they have raised their estimate on the number of fake accounts from about 1% to 2-3%.
This is essentially saying that as much as 6% more of their accounts are invalid than previously reported. While this won’t likely have much of an impact on their stock price, and the company is obviously still doing very well overall, it is something to take note of.
Marketers base their ad strategies on these types of numbers. If you’re thinking about running a campaign that targets one specific group, you need to know how many people could be seeing it. The duplicate accounts aren’t (usually) as much of an issue, but the fake accounts can be bots or other things that can result in lost money.
Facebook says that the changes in their numbers aren’t due to an influx of bad accounts, but because they updated their methodology for detecting these types of things.