If you log into Facebook and bring up one your Facebook Pages today, you’ll see a “Page Insights Update” box that states, “We fixed some reporting issues in Page Insights. Learn more.” The announcement from Page Insights says that, “As part of our ongoing investment in Page Insights we recently completed a comprehensive engineering audit of the product. During this audit, we uncovered bugs that impacted impression and reach reporting.”
The announcement goes on to explain that paid and organic content delivery was not affected, just reporting. In other words, followers and Facebook users were able to see your stories or ads as intended, but Facebook failed to accurately tell you exactly how many times those stories or ads were actually viewed.
The Page Insights team was unable to specifically say how your Facebook Page reporting may have been affected. The announcement states that the bugs and the issues they caused varied from Page to Page, depending on when and how often you posted. Unfortunately, the only remedy they can offer is to watch your Page Insights going forward and look for changes. Facebook suggests that most Pages should see:
- Total reach to stay the same or increase for most Pages
- An increase in paid reach if you ran News Feed ads
- An increase or decrease in organic reach, depending on many factors such as the composition of your fan base, when and how often you post and your spending patterns
- A change in metrics computed from reach and impressions, such as engagement rate and viral rate
The problem, of course, is that most small business owners probably are not exporting their Facebook Insights on a regular basis, so there is no basis for comparison. Unless you knew exactly what your reports said prior to this fix being released, all you can do is hope that going forward, the metrics are more accurate.
In all likelihood, this will be good news for most Facebook Page owners. Facebook is actively working to make their reports more accurate, and most Page owners can look at their Insights and feel a little better about their recent activity, as the numbers are probably higher than what was previously reported.
However, just like whenever Klout revises their algorithms for measuring influence, it’s always disconcerting when we find that there are errors or flaws in the reports and metrics that we come to rely on. Furthermore, it’s likely that many businesses were using these reports, these flawed reports, to judge the success or failure of social media initiatives and paid advertising campaigns.
If you were actively monitoring your Page Insights previous to this correction, and have a noticed a dramatic change one way or the other, I’d love to hear from you. Does an announcement like this make you more or less trusting of the data Facebook is giving you? Is this just one more reason why businesses should abandon Facebook completely in favor of LinkedIn or Google+?