If you’ve been running Facebook traffic lately and have been using a tracker like Thrive to track your clicks, you may have experienced an increasing level of click inflation.

What happens is the number of clicks tracked in your tracker is WAY higher than what is actually logged in your Facebook account and what Facebook actually charges you.

What is causing this?  The answer is that Facebook is “prefetching”.

What’s prefetching?

Prefetching allows Facebook to download mobile content in advance. For example, let’s say you’ve created a mobile ad that includes a link or call to action to your mobile website. When someone clicks the link or call to action on your ad, a portion of the content it’s linked to may already have been prefetched and will appear more quickly.

For each News Feed mobile ad, Facebook attempts to predict how likely a person is to click on an ad. If the prediction score meets the requirements, Facebook prefetches the initial HTML page when the story first appears on a person’s screen.

Prefetching may cause an apparent increase in traffic for publishers and an increase in clicks for third-party, tag-based measurement companies. These increases may occur when marketers manually place third-party click tags in the website URL of their ads.

Thrive’s Solution

The good news is that Thrive now automatically filters out all of these non-legitimate “pre-fetched” clicks!  Some discrepancy between different platforms will always occur, but there should be no more drastic data inflation going forward. There is no additional setting to set. Thrive will filter these clicks out automatically.