Meta's ad system glitch leads to overspending fury

Kerem Gülen
Apr 26, 2023

On Sunday morning, numerous Facebook advertisers were taken aback by a glitch in Meta's ad delivery system, resulting in substantial overspending on various accounts. Ad buyers shared that CPMs surged by 200% to 500% compared to the previous day, while all ad performance metrics appeared to be impacted. Furthermore, certain advertisers found that their ad sets surpassed their daily budgets by a significant margin, and they were unable to curb the losses.

Meta responded promptly to the reports and acknowledged the problem within hours. The company acted quickly to resolve the issue and assured advertising partners that it would issue credits to rectify the situation.

“We do not have evidence that we charged customers for ads that no one saw. If no impression occurred, the advertiser would not be charged,” the spokesperson stated.

Meta's system is intentionally designed to permit spending up to 25% over the daily budgets set by advertisers. This could be what some of the reports on Twitter are referring to. However, the spokesperson emphasized that there is no indication of exceeding this 25% increase on daily budgets during Sunday's technical glitch.

According to reports, Meta has resolved the issue, and all ad systems are now operating normally. In the next few days, Meta intends to contact the affected ad account managers directly. This is a substantial error for the platform, which has been striving to boost trust in and reliance on its ad products following Apple's iOS 14 update.

Ad buyers stunned as Facebook's system malfunctions

As many users are opting out of data tracking, Meta has had to revise its ad delivery process to focus on machine learning and enhance the detection of the most appropriate audience for each campaign.

Despite the progress made in these efforts, events like this are likely to make ad buyers more cautious of Meta's systems and could trigger a reduction in ad spending.

Although any repercussions are unlikely to be permanent, it is still another inconvenience for Meta as it endeavors to transform its ad systems in line with new requirements. It is advisable to review your Facebook ad sets and confirm that you have not incurred overspending during the weekend.

Image source: Unsplash

The recent glitch in Meta's ad delivery system has underscored the potential hazards associated with relying on digital advertising platforms. This event is particularly noteworthy in light of Meta's ongoing efforts to bolster trust and reliance in its ad products amid mounting concerns about privacy and increased regulatory scrutiny.

Although Meta's prompt response in rectifying the problem and issuing credits is commendable, the incident could make advertisers more cautious about using the platform, resulting in a decrease in ad spending. This underscores the significance of diversifying ad spending across several channels to mitigate the effects of unanticipated issues that may emerge on any given platform.

Even those in the ad tech industry find Meta's ad network to be opaque. Essentially, advertisers inform Meta of their objectives, establish a budget, and then wait as the company's algorithm executes campaigns on their behalf. For instance, a toy company may specify that it wants to invest $5,000 over two weeks to encourage parents to visit its website. Meta manages precisely how much money is spent and when. Advertisers can examine Meta's system for a report on the performance of their ad campaign, but they are not privy to the specifics of what is transpiring on the other end.


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  1. Dave said on April 26, 2023 at 1:12 pm

    Facebook (Meta)….ruining lives, one day at a time.

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