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  • Meerelle Cruz

Unconnected Facebook and Instagram Accounts Will Be Counted Separately in Facebook's Ad Reach Data

This is a big change for Facebook advertisers: starting today, the social network will start counting people who haven't linked their Facebook and Instagram accounts in its Accounts Center as separate entities for ad purposes – in other words, if your accounts aren't linked, Facebook will assume your Facebook and Instagram profiles are two separate people.

If someone's Facebook and Instagram profiles aren't linked in the Accounts Center, Facebook will treat them as different people for ad planning and measurement starting today. Connected Facebook and Instagram accounts will continue to be counted as a single person in the Accounts Center. Over the next few weeks, this adjustment will be implemented. Facebook's Accounts Center, which can be accessed through the settings in each of its apps (Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger), allows you to link your accounts so that you may cross-post material, log in with your credentials from each app, utilize Facebook Pay, and more.

Most Instagram/Facebook users, especially those who maintain Facebook Pages, have synced their accounts due to the differing functionality (for ad purposes). Many will still haven't, and Facebook will now count them separately in its ad performance statistics.

Previously, Facebook treated multiple accounts as if they belonged to the same person if they linked their Facebook and Instagram accounts through those applications or if they suspected the accounts belonged to the same person. When people interacted with advertisements, they were considered as one person if they used the same email address across their Facebook and Instagram accounts or visited both sites from the same device. That won't be the case any longer. Based on variable accounting, this might make Facebook's ad reach stats look a lot better, with a considerably larger scope.

Advertisers may notice an effect on campaign planning estimations and performance reporting for unique metrics as Facebook rolls out this methodology improvement. Although there will be increases in pre-campaign estimates such as expected audience size, they do not believe this will have a significant influence on reported campaign reach for most campaigns.

This is particularly noteworthy in light of Facebook's recent expansion of campaign reach estimations, with its 'Potential Reach' statistics being provided in ranges rather than specific numbers. That move was made in response to some legal challenges about the inclusion of false and duplicate accounts in its estimates, which advertisers claim Facebook has done deliberately for years, deceiving ad partners about their campaigns' genuine projected reach.

Facebook made this modification last month, and now it's moving to change those audience estimates once more, potentially expanding Facebook's reach estimates through methods that it knows are at least somewhat inaccurate.

Will this put Facebook in jeopardy in the future? Based on this explanation, it will be difficult for Facebook to claim that it is unaware that it may be inflating reach estimates. It explains how it has previously utilized more accurate metrics to ensure that its counts are a better picture of actual reach.

Facebook, for its part, claims that this shift is about honoring users' choices about how their data is utilized for adverts, with users being able to choose how their data is reflected in these elements. However, this appears to be a dubious explanation for the alteration. In any case, it's occurring, and it'll be interesting to see how it affects your ad reach estimations - and, as a result, how the advertising industry reacts.

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