Returned Value: Facebook Accidentally Rolls Out New Ads Metric

A few days ago, I noticed a new metric within my Facebook ads manager called “Returned Value.” Here is the definition of that term, according to the tooltip:

This data includes all returned value taken by people within 24 hours after viewing an ad or Sponsored Story in this campaign, or within 28 days after clicking on it. You’ll only see data here if you’re promoting a Page, event or app.

As you can see from the screen grab below, the metric appeared in the far right column within the overview of my Facebook ad campaign. It’s a dollar figure, and each of my campaigns registered $0.00.

Facebook Ads Returned Value Metric

I asked around, and no one seemed to know anything. Dennis Yu did some legwork for me and reached out to his support contact at Facebook. Here is their response:

The addition of the “returned value” field was actually a mistake, and it should be gone now. Apologies for any confusion that caused, and please let me know if it is still appearing for some reason.

And visual evidence of the correspondence:

Facebook Returned Value Metric Email

I blacked out that representative’s name because I’d rather not get them into trouble if they revealed too much.

Like the email says, the metric has since disappeared. But luckily I got the screen grab, including Facebook’s definition of it.

We can only speculate on how this could or would be used. Here are my thoughts…

What is Returned Value?

My initial thought was that this could be an awesome tool if connected to conversion tracking. And one could also connect this to recent reports of connecting ads to offline sales. However, both seem unlikely, based on the definition.

My guess is that when you set up an ad campaign, you will be able to assign a dollar value to each Page Like, Event RSVP and app install. Facebook can then return a total “Returned Value” of your advertising.

It’s a somewhat crude method, but it makes sense. It would help advertisers measure and prove their ROI on campaigns. Maybe Facebook would attribute their own value to these things, but I have a feeling it will be manual since it would undoubtedly be different from brand to brand.

Did you notice this? If it ends up being rolled out, how do you expect it will be used?