Market Research Logo

Advertisers are Getting the Wrong Impressions; Facebook and the MRC Offer New Points of View

Advertisers are Getting the Wrong Impressions; Facebook and the MRC Offer New Points of View

If memory serves, it was approximately a decade ago that the author of this report first heard a media industry soothsayer utter the notion that someday in the not too distant future ‘we would all be the news’: we would share news with each other as it happened, and choose which news to receive, instead of passively accepting what the established news media chose to present to us.

Stratecast asserts that this vision of a grassroots-created, instantly accessible, all-the-news-you-choose future has arrived, and its name is Facebook.

More than million people on this planet now use Facebook every day; of those, million do so using a mobile device.2 The fundamental action users take on Facebook every day—reviewing their Facebook News Feed extremely quickly, and customizing what they do and do not want to see in that News Feed on the fly—is about to revolutionize the digital advertising industry.

To be a bit more descriptive, the Facebook News Feed is the constantly updating list of stories in the middle of a Facebook user’s home page. News Feed includes status updates, photos, videos, links, app activity, and Likes from people, Pages, and groups they follow on Facebook. When users review their Facebook News Feed, they are looking for the people and things that interest them the most. When they choose to skip or hide a post from someone, in that brief moment of selection, that person is top-of-mind for them.

Facebook, of course, is not the only feed-based network where users rapidly review and customize the content they want to see. Other major feed-based networks include Twitter; Instagram, which Facebook acquired for $ billion in 2012; and the part-microblog-part-social-network Tumblr.

This Stratecast SPIE report analyzes how the evolution of newsfeed media such as Facebook, and the industry thought leadership of the Media Rating Council, are shaping how advertisers view the effectiveness of the advertising they place not only on Facebook but across all digital venues.


  • Introduction1
  • Advertising Reality Evolution: from Traditional to Digital to Viewable
    • Traditional Advertising: Subscribers Equal Ad Impressions, and Other Fiction
    • Digital Advertising: "Served Impressions" Do a Disservice to Advertisers
    • Viewed or Viewable Impressions Make Ad Measurement More Closely Match User Reality
  • How "Viewable" Must Digital Ads Be? That Is (Now) the Question
    • The MRC Adopts an Even Tighter Definition of Viewable Impressions
    • Facebook Believes the Tighter Standard Misses the Point
  • Facebook and Research Partner Nielsen Transcend Ad Viewability to Assess Impact
  • The MRC Sees the Big Picture, Too
  • The Last Word

Download our eBook: How to Succeed Using Market Research

Learn how to effectively navigate the market research process to help guide your organization on the journey to success.

Download eBook

Share this report