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Facebook May Have Just Been Caught in a Big Lie

Mark Zuckerberg Delivers Keynote Address At Facebook F8 Conference
Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

This could have happened to anyone, right? I mean, I’m not that good at math either.

I feel like a terrible person for getting even the slightest amount of joy out of this, but I’ve always thought of Facebook as the “evil conglomerate” of social media. We’ve give Mark Zuckerberg & Co. way too much power.

And it would appear they know it and use it.

Thanks to one analyst, we’re taking a second look at Facebook’s projected reach, a.k.a. the number of people they can get an advertiser’s product in front of. Brian Wieser, an analyst for Pivotal Research Group, thought that a 1.7 million person reach claim that was just a little too far fetched. A trade publication in Australia reported that the social media site could reach that many people in between the ages of 16 and 39.

The Australian census data doesn’t agree with those numbers.

In fact, the census says that many people in Australia between those ages doesn’t even exist. The same rang true for the US. Wieser reproduced the study as Facebook’s Ads Manager claims it can reach 41 million people in between the ages of 18 and 24, 60 million in between 25 and 34 and 61 million in the age range of 35 to 49. Again, the census data doesn’t agree and once again says there aren’t even that many people in existence in those age groups.

And it’s not just a few people here and there. We’re talking about a difference of about 25 million people.

With these numbers, it’s no wonder Facebook has been selling out to advertisers left and right. After launching “Watch” in August, it doesn’t look like things will change. This service will allow for original video to be shown through their platform. We’ve seen a partnership with this for a few upcoming college football games. This presents an opportunity for Facebook to tap into TV advertising revenue.

But with these faulty reach projections, who’s actually watching? I guess all of those fake profiles that Facebook combed through and eliminated will be well entertained.

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