Analytics news and expert advice every Thursday.
Facebook Confesses: Our Page Analytics Have Been Screwed Up, Fix In Progress
Facebook is notifying Page owners that a bug in its analytics system has affected both the reach and impressions data that’s been showing in Page Insights — and it impacts both paid and organic numbers.
Logged-in Page owners should see an alert at the top of their Page the next time they visit, which points to this explanation of the problem.
The company says the bug impacts data related to Paid Reach, Organic Reach, Paid Impressions and Organic Impressions – along with other data points that rely on those numbers, such as Virality and Engagement Rate. Facebook emphasizes — particularly for its paying advertisers — that impressions were delivered in full, but reporting was not accurate.
In other words: Everyone who should’ve seen the posts or ads did, but Facebook’s counting was off. And Facebook says there’s no way to go back and fix the incorrect numbers because the bug impacted its logging system.
Here’s what Facebook says Page owners should expect to 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 virality
TechCrunch has more background than what Facebook shared on its own page, saying that the bug originated from its new/recent Android and iOS apps.
As users upgraded to the faster apps, their views of Page posts in those apps stopped being counted, and Page Insights showed admins were getting fewer feed impressions for their posts than they actually were.
Considering the heavy increases in Facebook usage on mobile devices, that’s a significant blow to Page owners and a serious screwup on Facebook’s part.
Facebook told TechCrunch that the bug had nothing to do with the drop in organic Page reach that some began seeing last year, but it may have hidden that change for some Page owners or made the change seem worse to others.
Facebook says it’s rolling out bug fixes this weekend, and encourages Page owners to start reviewing Insights as of Monday morning for impacts.