Is most of Facebook’s ad revenue through bots?

By on August 1, 2012
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Are all your ad clicks from humans?

A recent post made by Limited Run on their Facebook page makes for a very interesting read. The company is actually closing down their Facebook page because they found out that advertising with FB was, essentially, a scam.

Limited Press (as the company was originally called) was getting a lot of clicks on their Facebook ads, but they found out that hardly any of those clicks led to people coming on their website. Since Facebook charges per click, advertisements costs that don’t translate into people coming to your site is rather troublesome to the business. While trying to backtrack these clicks, they found out that nearly 80% of these clicks couldn’t be verified because the users had disabled JavaScript. They then built their own page logger to keep a track of where the clicks are coming from.

“The 80% of clicks we were paying for were from bots. That’s correct. Bots were loading pages and driving up our advertising costs.”

At this time it cannot be verified that the bots are coming from Facebook themselves (to help them generate more revenue) or through some outside third party; although what benefit the latter would get is a mystery.

While these tests were being conducted the company additionally wanted to change their name from Limited Pressing to Limited Run, but Facebook said they would allow the name change, “only if we agreed to spend $2000 or more in advertising a month.”

Facebook’s share price since yesterday has fallen by another 6.22% down to $21.71 for now.


From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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