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Twitter Bug Inflated Ad Views on Android App

Dec 24, 2016

When it comes to Twitter, the company has seemed to be struggling recently both within the Android market and the general market. The company announced today that the company over-reported the ad views on the Twitter Android app. It was first reported by Business Insider and then later on in the day Twitter came out to verify that the ad view over-inflation did happen on the Android app.

Twitter Issues Refunds Amid Android Ad View Glitch

What ended up happening is that there was a bug in the Android Twitter app, which led to video ad view numbers to accidentally become inflated. The bug caused the inflated ad views to skyrocket as much as 35 percent. The ad view inflation bug happened from November 7 through December 12. Twitter did take the steps to try to correct the situation by notifying the advertisers earlier in the week, which was before the Business Insider report came out that called out Twitter over the inflated video ad views. This has not happened before with Twitter, at least it has not been publicly stated like this before. As for Android users, it appears that they do not need to worry that much as this is a technical error that impacts the advertisers, and should not impact the way that Twitter runs on your Android device.

It was not known immediately how widespread the ad view inflation bug was, but Twitter said it will issue refunds to the advertisers for the overpaid ad money. Twitter also recently came out to say that mobile users are the biggest group of the Twitter world. In fact, Twitter said that 83 percent of the users are mobile. Twitter has not said how many Android users there are compared to iOS users, but it is likely that Android users make up a majority of the Twitter mobile market. Part of the reason that Android would be more used is that statistically, Android makes up a larger part of the mobile market with millions more people owning Android devices.

Apparently, there is a problem when it comes to companies keeping track of advertisement views properly. Facebook recently has been telling advertisers that there were some errors in the video metrics, which ended up causing views to be miscalculated. When it comes to Facebook, though, the issue lasted much longer than the recent Android Twitter ad view errors, and it seems the issue with Facebook was the company intentionally and deliberately miscalculating the numbers. It is not a fact that Facebook was deliberate in the actions of miscalculating the view numbers; however, Facebook was misleading the partners and advertising firms for two years. So when you have Facebook giving the advertisers misleading information for two years, it seems a little more deliberate.

Even though we have Facebook doing this for much longer of a time period, the actual consequences could be worse for Twitter. That is partially due to, as we said in the beginning, Twitter has been struggling in the markets. By struggling, we mean Twitter is really having issues when it comes to meeting revenue and also trying to meet the expectations of the investors. Things went a little south for Twitter this week when it was revealed that the CTO, Adam Messinger, was leaving the company. Adam Bain, the Chief Operating Officer also recently left Twitter, so there are definitely more people leaving the company than coming on board at this point in time.

On Friday, the Twitter stock closed at a three-month low to just $16.38. This is down 17 percent from what the Twitter stock was at the beginning of December, which was $19.65. To add to all of the issues going on with the Android ad view miscalculations, we have seen a lot of the executives and high-level people leaving Twitter in 2016. When you combine all of this information together, it seems that Twitter is really having a hard time, and is definitely not in straight competition with Facebook right now because of these issues.

The only good thing as far as the Android ad view miscalculations go is that the refunds Twitter had to give out to clients were very small. Most of the refunds were about $1 or so, according to an anonymous source who did not want to be revealed due to the fact that the information is not public knowledge right now. This technical error on the Android version of Twitter should be fixed now, according to Twitter the team is confident that because it was a technical error that they have been able to fix the issue and no further problems should arise. It seems that between social media giants Facebook and Twitter, there might need to be something done as far as helping these companies keep a better track of the advertisement views. It is not known whether or not being on mobile, such as on the Twitter Android app, has an impact when it comes to how easily it is to track the video advertisements. Either way, it seems that Twitter is possibly going to have some long-term consequences to deal with as a result of this mishap, and it could lead to the Twitter stocks going even lower for a short time.