Facebook is rolling out a new user interface for Page Insights. So far the renewed interface is available for selected users and it is told to be coming into everybody's use later this Summer. Those invited to try out the new model will see a notification when visiting their Page Insights. One can revert back to the old version, but in this case the new interface will not be available before its full-scale launch.

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The reformation
1. brings changes to Facebook metrics,
2. affects the Insights layout, and
3. enables new ways to gain more insight about the page and hereby achieve better results.

1. Changes to Metrics

In the new Insights version the people talking about this -metric (in short, PTAT) has been broken down into different factors. Instead of a single figure, Facebook reports separately page likes, engagement (comments, shares, likes, and clicks to posts), and other page activity, which includes mentions, check-ins, user wall posts, and redeemed offers.

The change is bittersweet: On the on hand it illustrates more clearly of what user interaction with the page consists, but in the meantime it becomes more difficult to get a quick overview on the audience's activity. Yet, the PTAT metric, used as a simple metric for user engagement, is still available to those users not taking the new version into use. Furthermore, it can be found in the Excel export, which so far remains unchanged, and on the page timeline as well. However, since Facebook is dropping the PTAT out from Page Insights, I would anticipate it to be taken away elsewhere as well at some point.

In the new reporting model user clicks on posts are stressed more than before, a justified decision given that each click is a sign of interest. With this change, the post metric ”virality” is replaced with engagement rate that signifies the ratio between the number of users who have commented, liked, shared or clicked the post and those who have seen the post. Thus it becomes a simple key metric for the evaluation of a single post. Differing from "virality", not every action affecting the engagement rate actually creates a story on Facebook, for which reason one can no longer assess the way messages are spread on Facebook by using this metric. However, post comments, likes, and shares are rather easily found, so it is not impossible to evaluate the viral impact.

What makes understanding the overall viral effect difficult, however, is the removal of viral reach, that is, reach by user-created stories. In the new Insights model, only organic and paid reach are reported, and viral reach is included in the former.

2. The New, More Interactive Interface

The new interface enables gaining more specific insight straight from Facebook. When previously, say, the daily reach of a given day, had to be dug out of the Excel export, it is now just one click away. Almost every graph provides more details when clicked.

The Insights layout has been renewed as well. For instance, a whole new overview page introduces all the key metrics with just one glance. The familiar triad between page, posts, and people has been maintained, but each category consists of multiple tabs for a more detailed analysis.

overview

For each post, there is a scorecard on which one can see all the key metrics. As an update, negative feedback is also shown and broken down into different actions.

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3. Three Features Supporting Better Content Planning

Firstly, the new Insights interface makes it easier to benchmark results to earlier activities. For instance, average new likes, negative feedback and user engagement can be compared to the previous period very easily. While viewing user demographics, the share of a certain target group in your likes can be compared to that same group's share among all Facebook users. One can also see what is the relation between user engagement and group size within different target groups (see screenshot).

demo

Secondly, the new Insights model also gives you detailed insight on post types and times. Post types (photos, links, statuses, videos) are listed based on reach and engagement, which makes it easy to see which types work best with a given audience. What is more important, Page Insights show the times of day your fans are using Facebook. This means that one does not have to look for an optimal posting schedule for organic reach through trial and error any more.

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Thirdly, changes in page level metrics can now be easily tracked to their origins in the content. For instance, the reasons for negative feedback can be easily found by opening the posts published at a certain period with a single click. Previously searching and finding such connections was a lot more exhausting.

The new user interface makes it thus easier to analyze Page Insights, as many stages that before were necessary for proper development have now been omitted. The changes in certain metrics, as mentioned above, will probably give marketers grey hair for a while, for at least the PTAT has had an important status in many companies. With this regard, changing the metric is a bit of a risky move from Facebook. On the other hand, as said, the metric in question can still be fetched from the page timeline, from the Excel export, and through the Facebook API at least for now.