40% of mobile ad clicks are not real

You’ve probably seen lately the difficulties that Facebook is having on the stock exchange.  Their shares hit an all time low this week, shedding some 50% of their IPO price.  A major reason for that drop has been the sites difficulties with mobile.

The problem is two fold.  Firstly more and more people are accessing Facebook via their mobile phone. Back in May it was revealed that Americans spend more time on the mobile version of Facebook than they do on the full version.

Whilst that in itself isn’t a bad thing, Facebook aren’t very good at monetizing the traffic that comes via the mobile version of the site.  They conceded as much over the summer, warning investors that mobile revenues wouldn’t be very good.  The problem was that Facebook have tried to use a traditional display advertising system, and of course when the screen is smaller, there’s much less space to display ads.  They break that down as being 18% in the fraud camp, and 22% in the fat thumb camp.

Trademob, mobile advertising

It unfortunately joins a zeitgeist that’s been emerging over the summer.  The BBC did a study showing that an ad campaign to attract likes to your Facebook Page is more likely to attract fake users than it is to attract real life human beings.

Of course that is malicious and intentional clicking.  What’s interesting though is the number of accidental clicks on Facebook ads.  A study done last year found that users were actually more likely to click a mobile ad by accident than they were on purpose.  Now you could argue that with screen sizes generally rising that this trend will being to fall, but it’s still a damning statistics.  I mean no one wants to pay for clicks that aren’t from people wanting to have clicked on the ad.
It does however seem that Facebook’s woes will continue for a little while yet.

13 thoughts on “40% of mobile ad clicks are not real

  1. Like the others, I've never clicked on an ad whilst browsing a site on my phone. To be honest I can't remember ever clicking on an ad when browsing any site for a very long time, whether on my phone or any other device.

  2. woah that is crazy, as if 40% are. So we are actually paying for clicks that are not real. The benefit at the moment is that mobile traffic is so incredibly cheap so it’s not too much of an issue but when it starts to increase in price it will definitely be an issue.

  3. This has been my qualms about Google's Enhance campaigns were the CPC rates for mobile against desktops are 12% higher in bid while impressions and conversions are much dismal compared to that of our desktop metrics. Plus the mobile traffic we seem to be getting versus relative conversion rates are dragging down our Quality score and makes our bids artificially much more expensive.

  4. LOL – "22% in the fat thumb camp" that is so funny. Sucks for advertisers though if the are paying for accidental clicks. Not great for the mobile add market at all.

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