Facebook enlists help to verify ad data after inaccurate reports

After overestimating key stats, the company is making some changes.

Facebook reported on multiple occasions late last year that it had been misreporting both ad video views and Instant Article stats. To help smooth things over with marketers, the social network explained today how it plans to be more transparent about advertising data going forward. First, the information that Facebook sends to its partners will be subject to an audit by the Media Rating Council (MRC) to verify its accuracy.

The company says it also now works with 24 third-party verification companies to keep tabs on metrics like reach, attribution, demographics, brand lift, offline sales and mobile app stats. By working with so many measurement partners, Facebook says it allows advertisers to work with the outfit they're most comfortable with or may already be using.

The social network will also provide those verification partners more detailed info on ad impressions for both Facebook and Instagram. That data will include the number of milliseconds an ad was on the screen, milliseconds 50 percent of the ad was visible and the milliseconds the entire ad was visible. The company also plans to offer new ad buying options, including the ability for marketers to only pay for ads that have been viewed in their entirety -- up to 10 seconds. There will also be an option to buy video ads where the sound is on.

Facebook will certainly need to be more transparent when it comes to ads and it needs to do so quickly. The company was overestimating video ad views for two years and that's a major issue when you consider how much of Facebook's revenue is tied to its advertising platform.