At a time when the viewership data being released by digital and social media platforms is begin questioned by advertisers, Twitter has agreed to submit to an audit by the Media Rating Council.
The MRC said the audit is the first step towards having its measurement standards accredited by the MRC, which provides the Good Housekeeping seal for media metrics.
Earlier this year, the Association of National Advertisers called on Amazon, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat and Twitter to submit to audits. Google this year agreed to be audieted by the MRC and last year Facebook was reportedly talking with the MRC.
The MRC took the unusual step of announcing the beginning of the audit because of “significant marketplace interest.” It said it plans to issue future updates on the status of the Twitter accreditation engagement as events warrant.
The MRC said it expects the audit to be completed in the first half of 2018. The audit report will be presented to the MRC audit committee for its accreditation consideration.
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The MRC’s audit will cover metrics included in the data feeds Twitter prepares for third-party measurers, as well as its own reporting of certain metrics, the MRC said. It is expected that the ingestion and processing of the Twitter data feeds by the third parties will also be audited separately by MRC, to allow for an end-to-end consideration of Twitter metrics as reported through these third-party environments.
The metrics currently in scope for the MRC’s audit are Twitter’s gross and net Tweet impression counts (including earned impressions), as well as Twitter’s measurements of Viewable video impressions, and Tweet sessions and Video sessions (and related duration metrics).