Over the weekend, Meta experienced an ad glitch that caused advertisers to pay as much as twice their usual ad rates, according to CNBC. Advertisers reported paying thousands for ads that they claim no one was able to view.
The glitch affected advertisers on Facebook as well as Instagram and caused advertisers to have to fork out more of ads, in some cases, more than they had budgeted for specific campaigns.
In fact, complete advertising budgets were wiped out in a matter of hours, according to Retail News Asia while ads did not receive any more clicks than usual.
While a spokesperson from Meta has since reportedly confirmed that there was a technical issue, it denied that advertisers were charged exorbitant rates for ads that consumers did not see.
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Rather, it explained that the issue resulted in “some miscalibration” for advertising campaigns that were focused on optimising for certain sales objectives. This resulted in faster campaign spending and more variable costs.
Meta noted that it does not have evidence that it charged customers for “ads no one saw”. It added that if no impressions occurred, the advertiser would not be charged.
Typically, Meta’s ad systems work such that business can lay out a campaign budget for a certain time person and Meta will then control how much money is spent and when it is spent. Besides having access to metrics showing how well the ad did, advertisers are unable to see anything beyond that. Meta usually allows the platform to spend 25% over the daily amount budgeted by each business and claims that it does not have evidence of the glitch causing ad spend to exceed this.
Meta has promised to carry out