Facebook Insights Now With Added Data

22nd Dec, 2010

A month ago Facebook introduced a new metric for its Insights data – impressions and feedback. Any new data Facebook can provide to marketers and page admins is most welcome, it makes it easier for us to explain how content is consumed on the network. So it was nice to log into Facebook today to see a slight revamp to how they present their Insight data, along with a very welcome addition – the option to compare different weekly or monthly time frames.

Weekly / Monthly Details

Besides the option to view the data in a monthly or weekly period, it looks like admins can set specific dates to examine data. However, at the time of writing, this doesn’t seem to work and brings up an error screen. No doubt this will be fixed.

User Menu

Facebook retains the User / Interactions menu options as before. But under each selection there’s far greater detail provided. For some reason Facebook used only provide data in a manner that wasn’t very forthcoming. For example you had to get how many fans joined your page by doing some small calculations. Ok they were small, but they should be automatic. The new look provides you with data on how many fans have joined within the last week or month. It also compares your pages performance with the previous period. So now those green (or red) arrows have more significance, when you can see, in percentage terms, how each of your metrics have increased or decreased.

Active users – Under the User menu you will now find active users broken down into daily, weekly and monthly figures, as well as the source of their activity – posts, likes, comments, views and unique views.

Fan sources data – This now collated for the month. Facebook used only show a daily figure, but now you can see just how many fans per week/month are coming through a fan box, search, newsfeeds, suggestions, ad’s, requests and so on.

Page tab views – again this is another set of data provided for a week/month, so you can now see just how often each tab has been viewed. You can judge how certain tabs are performing, why they might experience peaks and troughs and it may point to why some tabs perform better than others. Understand why your tabs work, you might also understand how to increase their views.

External referrers – now you can see who has been sending traffic your way over a longer time frame. Before Facebook would only display data for a specific 24 hour period, meaning if you didn’t access Insights every day you could miss who is linking to your page. You may be surprised who is linking and, just like a normal website, building links to your Facebook page will do no harm to traffic.

Also on the user menu, demographic, geographic and media consumption tabs remain the same.

Interactions Menu

This tab hasn’t changed all that much except it now it provides post views and post feedback for a week or month period. It also displays the percentage increase or decrease experienced when compared with the previous time frame. Up until now all we had to work with was a daily post view and feedback figure which wasn’t as useful, making it hard to track page performances over longer periods, or to immediatly compare performance.

This is the kind of information Facebook should have been providing for pages and a few more stats such as bounce rates, time spent on each page, unique post impressions would be even more welcome. After all, is a page that receives 20,000 views from fans with an average visit time of 1 second, better than a page with 1,000 views and an average visit of 2 minutes? Facebook Insights is no Google Analytics, but each step in the right direction will only make it easier for brands to do business on Facebook.