‘Fat-finger syndrome’ ramping up Facebook’s mobile ads sales?Published On: Wed, Oct 10th, 2012 | Tech Business | By BioNews
Facebook is suffering from ‘fat-finger syndrome’, as most of the company’s recently touted mobile ad performance can be chalked up to accidental or fraudulent clicks, an influential Wall Street analyst has said.
“Fat fingers” — when people click on an ad as they’re trying to click on something else — is an issue across the mobile Web as users try to navigate smaller screens, according to BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield.
“People don’t have trouble with a mouse or touch pads. But on mobile, when you’re gliding through on a touch screen, everything is touchable, and a lot of mistakes are happening,” the New York Post quoted Greenfield, as saying.
According to the paper, Greenfield said the issue is not confined to Facebook and that it affects all media taking advantage of mobile. He said like the streaming radio service Pandora serves mobile ads with tiny “close” tabs, and users often click an ad while trying to discard it.
Greenfield said his anecdotal surveys show people are being hit with ads for brands they don’t recall “liking.”
Since before Facebook went public in May, investors have been worried about the social network’s transition to mobile. And with its stock struggling, the firm has been trying to show investors it can quickly ramp up mobile ad sales.
Of the social network’s 1 billion users, more than 600 million access the site through smartphones and tablets.
Facebook’s mobile ads are clicked on 14 times more frequently than desktop ads are, according to TBG Digital, a social-media marketing specialist.
“You are more likely to get an accidental click on mobile than desktop. But the click-through rate is so much higher that it’s only a small amount that is related to accidental,” said Simon Mansell, TBG’s CEO.