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Facebook Redefines the Word 'Click' to Satisfy Advertisers

"Likes," comments and shares are no longer clicks -- at least not in Facebook's view.

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Facebook is redefining the term “click” to appease its many advertisers.

The social network will no longer charge marketers for what are known as engagement clicks — things such as “Likes,” comments or shares of an ad. Instead, Facebook will only count a click that generates a desired result for a marketer, like a website visit or an app install.

The change comes just a few weeks after Facebook also changed up its definition for video “views.”

Essentially, it’s responding to advertisers that aren’t interested in paying for someone to “Like” their advertisement when they would rather have an app install instead. These clicks are typically more expensive, but Facebook argues that they are also more valuable.

It’s a new approach for Facebook but not a new approach for the industry. Twitter started testing this kind of ad — called direct response ads — almost a year ago and rolled them out to all advertisers at the end of May. It’s clear that advertisers want this model; Facebook and Twitter wouldn’t change things up unless advertisers were clamoring for it.

But predicting click-through rates is still a bit of a challenge. In Twitter’s case, the company overestimated how well the ads would perform last quarter and missed revenue expectations as a result.

Whether or not Facebook will guide lower on revenue estimates for the current quarter is yet to be seen. The company reports earnings at the end of the month and will likely address the new model then, but it’s worth watching to see if Facebook has the same kinds of issues Twitter faced last quarter.

This article originally appeared on