Are Bots Your Biggest Fan On Facebook?

05 August 2012


If you are thinking about creating a Facebook ad presence, you may want to think again.

At least, that’s what it would seem from one company’s experience. Limited Run, an internet services company which helps musically gifted folk (and other artists, labels) create their own online stores for selling products and digital downloads. Upon launching their first Facebook ad campaign, they realized that they could verify less than 25% of all ad clicks. The rest of the clicks, LR claimed, came from users with disabled JavaScript–something that makes tracking the source of the clicks decidedly more difficult, and something that is usually employed by bots and not actual humans.

(Learn something new every day: What is a bot?)

It’s a fairly bold statement, and not one that Facebook had an immediate answer to. In a press release, Limited Run had the following to say:

” That’s correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs. So we tried contacting Facebook about this. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t reply. Do we know who the bots belong too? No. Are we accusing Facebook of using bots to drive up advertising revenue. No. Is it strange? Yes. But let’s move on, because who the bots belong to isn’t provable. “

Whether or not Facebook is looking to remedy the situation is a moot point. According to the full CNET article, the eCommerce-based service company gave up its Facebook page due to questionable ad-click activity. A Facebook rep stated that an investigation was ongoing.