Facebook updates its cost-per-click definition to only include clicks to websites and apps

Attention marketers: Facebook has redefined its cost-per-click (CPC) measurement. In a blog post, the social networking company said that as part of its latest API release, a CPC will only include clicks to websites and apps. No longer will likes, shares, and comments be included, which should help advertisers make better sense of what they’re getting for their money.

So why is Facebook updating the definition? The company says that its ad offerings have become “increasingly tailored to helping advertisers meet specific business objectives” and as such it will provide measurements that are “more closely aligned with how advertisers are bidding so they can better optimize their campaigns against their stated goals.”

To be more specific, here’s exactly what’s being counted as a click: if you click to visit another website, click on a call-to-action that results in going to another website, click to install an app, click on a Facebook canvas app, or click to view a video on another website.

This isn’t a product change. Facebook is offering some clarity in how things are measured and to give marketers some better peace of mind knowing what their money is going towards.

We’ve all that that problem when it comes to buying ads: what counts as a cost per click? Before it was pretty easy to tell, but in the age of social media and new features for end users, it’s just not possible to get an exact definition. Facebook wants to buck that trend and make and effort to simplify things, which could be looked at as a good gesture to entice more advertisers to do business with it.

If you’re an advertiser with Facebook, here’s what the company lists as the next steps:

  • If you buy through a Facebook interface (like Ads Manager or Power Editor): You don’t need to do anything right now. We’ll share further information about the updated CPC’s implementation in our interfaces. We’ll also provide messaging in the interfaces themselves once the change has occurred.
  • If you buy through a Facebook Marketing Partner: You should speak with your Marketing Partner to understand when they’ll be implementing the new API with updated CPC.
  • If you buy through the API: You can begin buying ads with the updated CPC today (July 8) in v2.4 of the Ads API. If needed, you can continue using the existing CPC definition until October 7. After this date, only the updated CPC will be available.