While this might seem like a relatively small update, the impacts could be relevant within your ad reporting. Meta recently announced an update to the terminology that it uses to display performance metrics, with the term ‘people’ being an update to ‘Accounts Center accounts’ within Ads Manager, Ads Reporting, Ads Help Center, Commerce Insights, and Instagram Insights.
As per Meta:
“Our calculation methodology for these metrics is not changing. The numbers you see in your reporting are the same as before; the only difference is the name. For example, if a person has one Facebook account and one Instagram account that are linked, they will be counted as one Accounts Center account. However, if those same accounts are not linked, they will be counted as two separate Accounts Center accounts for ads planning and measurement purposes.”
So, it all boils down to whether or not their accounts are connected to Meta’s back end, which, you would assume, most user profiles are, but Meta hasn’t provided any additional information on the number of accounts that are linked or not, which makes these stats a little opaque.
Let’s look at an example: say that around 750 million out of 1 billion Instagram accounts are linked and are displayed as a single Facebook or Instagram user in your ad reach metrics, or is it more like 200 million? What about Messenger – don’t most Messenger users have a linked Facebook account, too?
The difference is pretty significant. Ideally, of course, you want to ensure that you understand the unique reach of your ads and how many people are actually seeing your promotions. However, if a lot of the listed profiles are for the same person, then that makes things a bit more complicated.
While this update doesn’t change anything concerning data collection, meaning that issues of this type have already been around for some time, the terminology could be a bit more confusing. Let’s take a look at another example – instead of your stats saying that your ad has reached ‘1000 people’, it’ll say that your ad has reached ‘1000 Accounts Center accounts’, seemingly implying linked accounts, too, but that’s not really the case.
The change is in line with Meta’s broader update to its Accounts Center platform, which will better enable users to control their preferences across Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. As Meta notes, it should have minimal impact, given the methodology behind how it calculates data doesn’t change. It’s worth checking out, and it also raises some questions about the specifics of this counting, along with how much information you have on unique audience reach.