SUMMARY: Within the last day or two, Facebook has removed the statistics previously reported to Page Admins showing the percentage of Page fans who see their posts. Also, Facebook also made two other changes which reveal that until quite recently, Facebook has been both under-reporting and over-reporting the number of people who “see” Facebook Page posts.
DETAILS: About three weeks ago I wrote an article on this site called “The New Facebook: Fact, Fiction, and Unanswered Questions”. Wouldn’t you know it — that article has become one of the most-read posts we’ve ever published at NO CLEAN SINGING, despite the fact that we’re a blog devoted almost entirely to extreme metal. Go figure.
The focus of the article was on Facebook’s new “Promoted Posts” feature, which allows administrators of FB Pages to pay Facebook for the privilege of getting their Page posts in front of more of the people who like the Page. That new policy focused attention on something that had been true for a long time but was unknown to many FB Page admins, i.e., that only a small percentage of our fans are actually seeing what we post on Facebook — and that this happens in large part because Facebook is deciding who ought to see what posts.
That fact became painfully evident because of a new “Page Insights” feature that Facebook rolled out in late May, timed to coincide with the Promoted Posts service. This Page Insights feature included lots of bells and whistles, but the simplest one was a line at the bottom of each Page post that was visible to the Page administrator (in the case of NCS, that would be me), but not to fans of the Page or anyone else who sees a Page post. It showed two statistics: (1) the number of unique people who saw the post — which Facebook calls “people reached”, and (2) the percentage of people who like your Page who saw the post.
It’s that second statistic which made it so obvious to Page admins that their posts were reaching only a small minority of the people who liked their page. It was like an ever-present reminder that if you wanted more people to see your Page posts, you would need to pay FB — and if you did knuckle under and pay, it would also show you how much bang you were getting for your buck in the form of a higher percentage of people reached.
All of this led to a massive bitch fest directed against Facebook. Well, guess what? All that bitching had an effect! Yes, Facebook responded to the barrage of criticism: In the last day or two they removed the statistic that tells Page admins what percentage of their fans see Page posts. But that’s not all . . . Continue reading »