Are bots driving up the price of Facebook advertising? No one knows for certain, but a company called Limited Run is claiming that as much as 80% of the traffic they saw from their Facebook ads was actually from bots.

The Limited Run story, as reported in a CNET article titled, Firm ditches Facebook for Twitter, claims clicks are bots, doesn’t accuse Facebook of any wrong doing but does raise some serious concerns for advertisers.

Who Are You?

Limited Run, an e-commerce service for musicians, noticed the issue while doing routine verification of visitors to their site. Red flags came up when only 20% of the Facebook traffic could actually be verified. After experiencing challenges with Facebook’s analytic tools, they wind up building their own program to track visitors.

They quickly noticed that almost 80% of their Facebook generated traffic had their Javascript disabled. This is pretty common for search bots, but very uncommon for actual humans. Limited Run officials say that normally only around 1%-2% of their visitors disable Javascript.

Facebook officials are investigating the matter, but aren’t really commenting one way or the other.

Other Complications

Unfortunately, bot traffic is not the only problem Limited Run is having with Facebook these days. The company is also claiming that Facebook is demanding a $2,000 a month increase in advertising spending in order to change its account name from Limited Press (which is what they used to be called) to Limited Run.

That issue has caused them to abandon Facebook all together in favor of Twitter. It’s also left them feeling a little angry. Here’s what they had to say in their final Facebook posting:

That’s correct. Facebook was holding our name hostage. So we did what any good hardcore kids would do. We cursed that piece of shit out! Damn we were so pissed. We still are. This is why we need to delete this page and move away from Facebook. They’re scumbags and we just don’t have the patience for scumbags.

Facebook says the name change issue is a “miscommunication.”

Relying on Facebook

No one knows for certain what’s actually going on with Limited Run, but the story is definitely worth watching. Despite its looming presence in the gaming world, Facebook is still something of an unproven entity as a business tool.

If anything Limited Run is saying is proven to be true on a wide scale basis, it could mean big trouble for the social media giant.


Tags: ,

Related posts: