Facebook Insights Gets a New Look – Offers More to Brands and Marketers

Facebook Insights is getting a long overdue makeover. The current dashboard for Facebook Insights for Pages was launched in October 2011, and there has been very little change since. Now, in an effort to create more actionable insights, Facebook announces new changes, which will help to provide community managers with cleaner and more comprehensive snapshots of brand performance.

So what’s changed?

PTAT (or People Talking About This)

WTH is PTAT? It is the number of unique users who generate viral actions; Facebook defines it as:

“The number of unique people who have created a story about your Page. A story is created when someone likes your Page; posts to your Page Wall; likes, comments on or shares one of your Page posts; answers a question you posted; responds to your event mentions on your Page; tags your Page in a photo; checks in at your location; or recommends your location.”  Read more about PTAT here. 

The old analytics dashboard often provided vague metrics, only showing weekly PTAT but not breaking out the actions created by users. As a result, community managers had to spend much more time than necessary to figure out how users were generating viral actions.

Analytics dashboard

The update to Facebook Insights solves this issue for marketers by reporting PTAT elements as separate metrics within the dashboard. This update allows community managers to make smarter improvements to brand Pages and advance customer engagement.

Virality is Now Engagement Rate

Virality is a frequently used metric by marketers and is wholly dependent on PTAT. Virality is the percentage created when you divide the number of people who have created a story (PTAT) from a post by the number of users who have seen the post (Reach).

With the recent dashboard update, Facebook has changed its definition of virality. The social network will be moving forward by renaming “Virality” to “Engagement Rate.” The new metric will also append clicks, which were not previously included as a measure of virality as they do not generate stories.

Clearer Metrics

In the past, Facebook displayed post analytics as a raw number, where users would have to click to see breakdowns and detailed analytics in a cleaner, neater format with fuller statistics.

clearer metrics 1

Now, determining how users engage with posts and create viral actions is as simple as eyeballing a snapshot of your post with all its detailed glory.

post details

Insights for Pages previously displayed demographic breakdown very simply – by age, gender, country, city, and language. The new layout combines two tabs to show reach and engaged users, which allows community managers to more easily digest what is catching on best with their brand’s user base.

Page anayltics

Implication for Developers

Facebook has stated that, as of yet, changes will not be made to the Page Insights export or API. If you’re a power user, this is good news. Because many of these metrics are easily digestible in a worksheet or customized database, there’s no need to rework your existing efforts.

Have these changes been enough? What else would you like to see from Facebook Insights?

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