In October, Facebook outlined what it will take to create a healthy advertising ecosystem: great experiences for people, meaningful business results for advertisers, and sustainable growth for publishers.
Ad placements that are built to drive unintentional clicks run counter to that goal. While they can be profitable for publishers, they fail to deliver good experiences for businesses or people. For advertisers, these kinds of unintentional clicks can drive down the value of their campaigns.
Over the next few months, Facebook will be making updates to stop delivering to ad placements that encourage unintentional clicks. These updates include policy clarifications on unintentional clicks, product changes to invalidate these clicks, and proactively pausing implementations that exhibit abnormal click behaviour.
Utilising signals about intentional clicks
To understand if a click is intentional, one of the metrics that is being looked at in the delivery models and quality detection systems is “drop off rates” — the time a user spends on the landing page of an ad. Facebook found that people who click on an audience network ad and spend less than two seconds on a destination page almost always clicked accidentally. Moving forward, Facebook will no longer count clicks categorised as unintentional. It will continually refine and adjust this threshold as it gathers more data and signals.
Pausing implementations with abnormal behaviour
Publishers sometimes create ad experiences that fail to deliver true advertiser value. This can be due to implementation error, or because the ad is in the wrong flow of the app experience. When Facebook sees abnormal behaviour, such as an inflated click-through rate (CTR), it'll automatically pause placements to protect people and advertisers. The company will inform publishers so they can make necessary changes
Facebook has also heard from publishers that they want more examples of its policies, and specifically how to create better native ad experiences. So it recently updated its policies with clear examples to avoid unintentional clicks (https://developers.facebook.com/docs/audience-network/policy), and went a step further by introducing a new policy that prohibits clickable “whitespace” on native ads. By requiring users to click on an advertiser asset, Facebook expects to see further reduction in unintentional clicks.
Going forward, it'll be experimenting with more ways to reduce the number of unintentional clicks by looking further into bounce rates, additional metrics, and trying to prevent users from accidentally clicking in the first place.