Most Facebook Page Owners should be seeing substantial increases in the reported reach of their posts after Facebook announced and fixed a bug that affected its reach and impressions data in Page Insights.
The folks at EdgeRank Checker studied about 1,000 Pages, comparing reach on posts that were published on two days: February 18th (before the bug announcement) and February 25th (after the announcement, and when Facebook told Page owners to start looking for improved data).
The results are significant: the studied Pages saw a median Total Reach gain of 31 percent per fan, Organic Reach median gain of 41 percent (per fan) and a median gain in Viral Reach of 275 percent (per fan).
As Reach increased, Engagement and Shares dropped slightly. The study shows that overall Engagement fell from 0.34 percent to 0.29 percent, and Shares per fan dropped from 0.04 percent to 0.03 percent.
The Total Reach gains were pretty consistent across Pages of different sizes, but Pages with smaller fan counts generally saw a drop in Organic Reach. EdgeRank Checker says Pages with less than 10,000 fans were the only ones that saw a drop in median Organic Reach.
In its announcement, Facebook did warn that some Pages might see a drop in Organic Reach:
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.
EdgeRank Checker didn’t study Paid Reach “due to the high variability in Ad Campaigns,” but Facebook said last week that advertisers that run News Feed ads should see an increase in paid reach.
The study may be a bit premature and only looked at two days of data, but if the numbers hold up under further — and bigger — tests, it looks like good news for Page Owners that’ll be getting more accurate data about their Page reach.
Postscript: To be clear, this is about a bug in how Facebook was reporting Insights data. So, when we say “Reach rises,” we’re talking about the reporting of Reach – not Reach itself.