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December 23, 2016

Software flaw overstated Twitter’s video advertisement viewership

The company paid refunds to clients who ran the ads.

By CBR Staff Writer

Micro-blogging platform Twitter has identified a software flaw that inflated the number of viewers of video advertisements on Android phones.

The company has already refunded certain clients whose video ads ran on the Twitter Android app from 7 November to 12 December, Bloomberg reported.

The bug resulted in overstating the numbers of views by as much as 35%, a person familiar with the matter told the publication.

However, Twitter’s payments to refund clients were small in size, with many of them less than a dollar.

Twitter said in a statement: “Once we discovered the issue, we resolved it and communicated the impact to affected partners.

“Given this was a technical error, not a policy or definition issue, we are confident it has been resolved.”

The company declined to disclose the value of refunds it paid to clients.

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To contain the slowdown in its sale growth, Twitter has turned its focus to video advertising.

Twitter revenues rose 8% to $616m in the three months to September and while that was better than forecast, it was lower than the 20% rise in the previous quarter.

It stayed in the red with a $108m net loss, with Twitter seemingly wide off the mark in its goal to become profitable by 2017.

The company had also announced plans to axe 9% of its workforce, as part of its restructuring efforts.

The restructuring, which focuses primarily on reorganising the company’s sales, partnerships, and marketing efforts, is intended to create greater focus and efficiency to enable Twitter’s goal of driving toward GAAP profitability in 2017.

Following a slump in profit, it announced shutting down its video-sharing app.

Twitter is now concentrating more on its Periscope product and live streaming rather than looping videos of a few seconds long.

It also added live stream options to its platform which sends out alerts when someone the user is following goes live.

Social media giant Facebook has also encountered some problems digital advertising measurements, leading to questions over the effectiveness of online ads.

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