This is a seemingly minor update, though the impacts could be relevant within your ad reporting.
Today, Meta has announced an update to the terminology that it uses to display performance metrics, with the term ‘people’ being updated to ‘Accounts Center accounts’ within Ads Manager, Ads Reporting, Ads Help Center, Commerce Insights and Instagram Insights.
As explained 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 comes down to whether their accounts are connected or not in 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 does make these stats a little opaque.
For example, are we looking at, say, 750 million out of the billion or so IG accounts in existence that are linked, and are displayed as a single Facebook/IG user in your ad reach metrics, or is it more like 200 million? What about Messenger – do most Messenger users have a linked Facebook account?
The difference here is significant. Ideally, of course, you want to ensure that you understand the unique reach of your ads, and how many people, exactly, are seeing your promotions. But if a lot of the listed profiles are the same person, across the two platforms, that muddies the waters.
And while this update doesn’t change anything in regards to how the data is collected, so any issues of this type have already been present for some time, the terminology could be a little more confusing.
For example, instead of your stats saying that your ad reached ‘1,000 people’, it’ll now say your ad reached ‘1,000 Accounts Center accounts’. That seems to imply linked accounts specifically, but that’s not the case.
“When a person has more than one account and has not added them to the same Accounts Center account, then actions (such as clicking on an ad, liking photos, or adding comments) taken on the separate accounts are counted separately even though they were performed by the same person. This means that if someone with multiple accounts that have not been added to the same Accounts Center clicked on a post while using their Facebook business Page and then switched to their personal Facebook profile and clicked on the same post, we would count these as link clicks by two Accounts Center accounts, not one. But if that person had added both of those accounts to the same Accounts Center then we would count this as one Accounts Center account link click, and two link clicks total.”
Are all of the Pages that you manage included within your individual Accounts Center? Might be another element to check.
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 in one place.
And it should have limited impacts, given, as Meta notes, the methodology behind how it calculates the data is not changing.
But it’s worth noting, and it once again raises questions about the specifics of this counting, and how much information you have on unique audience reach.