Do you notice how Facebook tells you how many people may be able to see your ad when you place?

Depending on how much money you’re committing, Facebook segments the audience and tells you the exact number that may see the advert.

For instance, Facebook’s Ads Manager claims a potential reach of 41 million for 18 to 24-year-olds and 60 million for 25- to 34-year-olds in the United States.

Meanwhile, the United States census data shows that last year there were a total of 31 million people between the ages of 18 and 24, and 45 million in the 25-34 age group, according to analyst at a company called Pivotal Research Group.

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“While Facebook’s measurement issues won’t necessarily deter advertisers from spending money with Facebook, they will help traditional TV sellers justify existing budget shares.

“They could restrain Facebook’s growth in video-ad-sales on the margins,” explained the research analyst, Brian Wieser.

But Facebook already has a defence. They claim that that, “they (reach estimates) are designed to estimate how many people in a given area that are eligible to see an ad a business might run” and that “they are not designed to match population or census estimates”.

“The estimations are based on several factors such as user behaviour, user demographics and location data from devices,” Facebook added in a statement, in response to the research note.

In September last year, Facebook told advertisers that the average time users spent viewing online-ads was artificially-inflated, because it was only counting videos that were watched for at least three-seconds, its benchmark for a “view.”

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