Facebook is Changing the Definition of CPC

All clicks are not created equal — at least when it comes to Facebook ads. The social network defines a click differently than Google or Bing. Facebook takes into account all actions on an ad, whether it be an actual click to the website, a like, a click to comment and so on. CPCs on Facebook are calculated by dividing spend by all these actions, so when advertisers try to compared paid social CPCs to search CPCs, it’s not a valid comparison. But that’s about to change.

Facebook is updating the way they calculate CPCs to align more with direct response objectives. They will now only account for actions that fall under what they call “link clicks” which include the following:

  • Clicks to visit another website
  • Call-to-action clicks (i.e. Shop Now, Buy Now, Learn More)
  • Clicks to download an app
  • Clicks on Facebook canvas apps
  • Clicks to view a video on another website

CTR will also be calculated using the update click metrics as well.

What can advertisers expect?

Facebook is making the change to help direct response advertisers align their goals more closely with how they are buying on the channel. The social network claims that once this change goes into effect, advertisers will see an increase in efficiency across the board since they will only be bidding on the outcome that means the most to them. Facebook does warn, however, that CPCs will increase with this change and CTRs will decrease due to the engagement metrics being removed from the calculation.

Will engagement clicks still matter?

This update doesn’t mean that engagement metrics should be ignored. High engagement rates are a strong indication of good content being show to the right people, which will positively affect an ad’s relevance score. High relevance scores allow for ads to be shown at lower costs as they are more likely to win in the auction.

When will the new CPC roll out happen?

As of right now, the new CPCs are only available through the Facebook API. If you work with a Facebook Marketing Partner with API access, talk with them about when their platform will be updated to the the new CPCs. Facebook will be rolling out the change to Power Editor soon, and will notify advertisers when the change takes place.

Will this change the way you buy on Facebook?

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