It seems as though Twitter made a bit of a mistake. For over a month, Twitter made the mistake of incorrectly measuring brands’ video ads running on Android devices and overcharged advertisers as a result The company said this on Thursday in an emailed statement:
We recently discovered a technical error due to a Twitter product update to Android clients that affected some video ad campaigns from November 7 to December 12. Once we discovered the issue, we resolved it and communicated with affected partners. The impact was limited given this happened only on Android clients over the course of a month. This was a technical error, not a policy or definition issue, so we are confident it has been resolved.
According to a person who was familiar with this matter, it was confirmed that Twitter ended up refunding the affected advertisers, and was reported in the Business Insider report that broke the news earlier on Thursday. In certain cases, the refunded amount was small and was as little as $1. The glitch inflated Twitter’s video ad measurements by as much as 35 percent, said Business Insider. The spokesperson from Twitter declined to comment.
The ad measurement error had followed a string of math mess-ups by Facebook that have caused marketers to question how much they can trust the social network’s metrics. Even though Facebook’s mistakes were pretty bad, none of them affected how much money advertisers were charged for their campaigns.
Even if this error was unintentional, it will probably be held up by advertisers as another example of why digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter need to open themselves up to third-party measurement audits. Advertisers’ demands for such audits were already expected to heighten next year following Facebook’s flubs, as DigitasLBi exec Jeanne Bright discussed in last week’s episode of the Marketing Land Live podcast.