Facebook advertisers will soon learn which ads you’ve seen but not clicked

Facebook ads have taken a beating in recent months, with the effectiveness of ad campaigns and the accuracy of campaign performance reporting called into question by some pretty large firms.

And think for a second: When is the last time that you actually clicked on a Facebook ad?

Facebook recognizes this issue, however, and TechCrunch has released the first details of the social networking giant’s new “View Tags” cookie tracking program that will hopefully bring a new level of ad tracking to advertisers and Facebook alike.

The program works very similarly to “view through” attribution programs that web analytics vendors use to identify e-commerce customers that have seen a display ad from a company before but never actually clicked on the ad. According to TechCrunch, Facebook will place a cookie on the machine of any user who sees a Facebook ad, but does not click on the ad. So in my timeline right now, for example, I have an ad for a $25 off coupon to Bonobos. I’m not clicking the ad, but with Facebook View Tags, if I went to Bonobos later today and made a purchase, Bonobos’ Facebook ad could get some credit for the conversion.

According to early reports from companies that had an early in on the Facebook View Tag tracking, the metrics gleaned from this program will be a boon to advertisers who previously had to trust that their Facebook ads were doing some good for whatever they were advertising, even if people weren’t clicking them. Reports from trials with firms such as SocialCode and Kenshoo, according to TechCrunch, returned positive results and showed that customers who converted on various sites had frequently seen one of the company’s ads on Facebook, although they never clicked it.

When Facebook’s View Tags go into wide release, look forward to a new era of smiling advertisers, and a new round of privacy critiques from those in the “Do Not Track” community.

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