The New Facebook Insights: What’s New, What’s Awesome and What Sucks

The new and improved web version of Facebook Insights is being rolled out, and I am one of the lucky ones who has been able to take it for a spin.

So… how is it?

What’s New

This is not a tweak. The new Facebook web Insights is drastically different than before. Some features are new and some are simply displayed in a much more easily to consume format.

Vastly Improved Interface
If you used Facebook Insights before, you will immediately notice a difference. And you should be pleasantly surprised.

The new UI is faster, cleaner and has a color scheme refresh. Most importantly, it does a better job of surfacing value.

Rate Comparisons
An example is below. Of the people I reached during a given period, 4.9% were women aged 18-24. However, only 4.0% of my Fans fit this same demographic.

4.9 / 4.0 = 1.2X the expected rate

Facebook Insights Rate Comparisons

By default, you can view the performance of posts based on two groups of data: 1) Post Clicks; and 2) Likes, Comments & Shares.

Filtering allows admins to get a more refined look into types of Engagement and Reach.

Facebook Insights Filtering

Click and Drag Date Select
This is a small, but necessary, change. Selecting date ranges before was a clunky hassle. Now you simply click and drag and all date ranges viewed on the screen change dynamically.

Facebook Insights Click and Drag Date Select

Best Post Types
This is an interesting addition. Facebook tells you which of your post types are “best” based on performance. Unfortunately, the only performance metrics used here are Reach, Post Clicks and Likes, Comments & Shares.

I’d love to see this broken down further. You will always get more Post Clicks from photos than other post types due to the Photo View not applying to other types. It’s misleading.

What about link clicks? What about other, specific types of Engagement?

For now, this will do. But expect marketers to make too big a deal of these results.

Facebook Insights Posts Tab Best Post Types

What’s Awesome

Some of the new items aren’t all that exciting. But this stuff? Pretty freaking cool!

When Your Fans Are Online
Whoa. Facebook now tells you the average number of people who saw your posts during each hour of the day covering a 7-day period.

This is pretty darn cool. I’d like to see this in real time. And I’d like to see when my Fans are engaging most as well.

But it’s a really nice start!

Facebook Insights Posts Tab When Your Fans Are Online

This is a new feature within Insights that allows you to compare performance over time. For example, compare your average number of post comments between periods.

This feature is available within the Page tab graphs. Click on an individual metric on the right and Facebook will focus on the average trend for that stat.

Facebook Insights Benchmarks

Post Clicks
A good addition to web Insights. Marketers often confuse the meaning of Engagement. Facebook defines it as including all clicks, not only comments, likes and shares.

But what about those other clicks?

Post Clicks are now a separate stat to give you an idea of other clicks your posts are receiving that may not be so obvious. An example would be a photo click.

Facebook Insights Post Clicks

What Sucks

Come on, Facebook. You were on the right path. But what about this stuff?

Exports Unaffected (So Far)
Exports are so freaking clunky and hard to use. And they haven’t been touched in this refresh.

Top Level Data Only
One reason the exports are so important is because they hold the mounds of data that the web version misses. That remains the case.

There has to be a balance in here. Ease of use as well as surfacing any important piece of data you want to see. Right now, you only see what Facebook wants you to see.

Okay, so let’s take you through the new Facebook web Insights, view by view…

1. Overview Tab

This tab presents four modules that represent the information Facebook thinks you will care most about. Three modules in a row at the top (Page Likes, Post Reach and Engagement) and one big module at the bottom (most recent post performance).

This covers data from the past seven days.

Facebook Insights Overview

2. Page Tab

This tab is broken down into three sections.

Page Likes
View the following:

  • Page Likes growth over time
  • Likes broken down into Unlikes, Organic Likes, Paid Likes and Net Likes
  • Where Your Page Likes Came From: On Your Page, Page Suggestions, Mobile, Your Posts, Others
Facebook Insights Page Tab Page Likes

Post Reach
View the following:

  • Post Reach: Broken down into Organic and Paid over time
  • Likes, Comments and Shares over time
  • Hide, Report as Spam and Unlikes over time
  • Total Organic and Paid Reach over time
Facebook Insights Page Tab Post Reach

Page Visits
Some valuable data here that existed before, but was largely buried.

  • Page and Tab Visits: By Timeline, Admin Tabs and individual tabs
  • Other Page Activity: Mentions, Posts by other people, Checkins and Offers purchased
  • External Referrers by website
Facebook Insights Page Tab Page Visits

3. Posts Tab

Some familiar and exciting, new information in here…

All Posts
This looks much like the table we’re used to seeing that documents performance of recent posts. The biggest difference is the new filtering mentioned earlier.

Facebook Insights Posts Tab All Posts

When Your Fans Are Online

Mentioned earlier.

Best Post Types

Mentioned earlier.

4. People Tab

You’ve seen much of this data before in the old web Insights. The biggest differences are the addition of rate comparisons and a cleaner interface.

Your Fans
You’ve seen this before…

Facebook Insights People Tab Your Fans

People Reached
Not much new here…

Facebook Insights People Tab People Reached

People Engaged
Sure, it’s nothing new, but I love this info!

Facebook Insights People Tab People Engaged

What Do You Think?

Do you like the changes Facebook made to Insights? Any other items you’d add to what’s new, what’s awesome and what sucks?

Let me know in the comments below!

  • Thanasut Vudthivichai

    I’m not the lucky one! :(

  • Dan Erickson

    So much info. I don’t use Facebook enough to use or understand all of this, but thanks for posting.

  • gnir

    Amazing post, Jon! Many thanks! One thing about the reporting data that really bothers me is that it seems to lump those who got the post via “share” with those who got it directly from us. Because we have a narrow niche, those who got it via share are not our target audience at all and having that reach mixed in with our fan reach gives us numbers that are lower than they would be without the shares! We don’t have the new version yet so this will be quite a project to learn how it works! Your info was very helpful … it will be even more meaningful once we have the new version.

    • Jon Loomer

      Make sure you look into your exports! Fan-only data is located there.

      • gnir

        Thanks, Jon! And I should have been more clear that I was speaking of the “old” Insights as I don’t have the new yet. But I wonder which number Facebook uses in their edgerank. They seem to just lump all together for % (PTAT/Reach) when PTAT only includes fans and the Reach metric includes fans and non fans and only fans’ PTAT is counted. It just seems like “crazy math” to me!! Thanks again!!

  • Christine Taylor

    Excellent. I am so glad I found this site. Very helpful! Thank you.

  • Scott Ayres

    Dude.. Killer overview! I haven’t seen this yet from anyone else and I don’t have it.. See Jon you got something before the rest of us! This should make up for your long wait of Graph Search!

    • Jon Loomer

      Still no new News Feed!

      • Scott Ayres

        Well none of us have that! Well none of us that matter anyway!

    • Antonio Calero

      Scott, to be honest it makes me feel a bit better to see I am not the only one beign forgotten by Facebook… Good luck with your wait mate!

  • Antonio Calero

    It’s quite frustrating to see how Facebook rolls out new features to some and not to others. If it wasn’t for Jon EXCELLENT posts and tips, I would miss a lot of things from Facebook, which clearly affects business… (so big Thank you, Jon)

    I still don’t have the new insights, nor Graph Search, no new News Feed… *sigh*. Anyone has any clues about this? E.g.: is it country related? Language related (have tried my FB in UK English and US English with same results)….or maybe based on the total combined audiences of the pages we manage…

    Thank you…

    • Jon Loomer

      Hey, Antonio! Yeah, really no clue how this is done. The option to request some of these seems to be worthless since there’s no rhyme or reason to the order of rollouts. I still don’t have the new News Feed or reports if that makes you feel any better!

    • Angela

      I don’t see this new insights stuff either. Still looks the same to me.

  • mohitdxb

    Jon excellent coverage of new Insights tool. Not surprised to see Facebook hasn’t touched the exports but I am sure it’s gonna come soon as your posts suggests that they have started collecting new data like “when your fans were online” so they will fix up the exports accordingly. Most of other things looks like new packaging to same data but it’s indeed much cleaner and a “bit” easier to understand for a novice user. I haven’t got access to it but hope to get it soon. Great stuff on your blog and keep it coming. I am sure a new book on Advanced Facebook marketing is on it’s way :)

  • newspapergrl

    I’m not a fan of the reach number for the week with the percentage up or down. Why? because that’s pretty much what my client looks at. If the number is down, they’re not happy. I try to explain what goes up must come down (I haven’t yet figured out how to sustain unlimited growth in that number. It seems that after a particularly strong post, it drops to the average.
    Otherwise it’s much easier to digest the stats and it’s prettier. The font color makes it tough to read though (for reports). Overall, a big improvement!
    Blog On

    • Jon Loomer

      I’m not a fan of Reach in general!

  • Ashok Kumar

    Hey Jon, I’m so lucky. I got a New Facebook Insights by today. I took a tour it. It’s nice. I hope this would help me to increase my page fans and have a meaningful engagement at right.

  • Ntiana

    Hello! People Talking About This number doesn’t exists?

  • Angela

    I was just looking at the insights, but mine doesn’t look anything like what is described here. Am I missing something?

    • Jon Loomer

      Not everyone has it yet, Angela!

  • juanmarketing

    How does FB calculate the Engagement Rate? PTAT / Fans?

    • Darcy

      I would love to know this, too! I can’t seem to understand where Facebook is getting the engagement rate percentage for each of my posts.

  • dan_K2010

    Ok so I finally have the new insights which are AWESOME! However mine seems to have a feature that is not shown in your review. On the ‘when your fans are online’ page mine also has the days of the week which shows the shift in ‘online fans’ as they change by day which is great information, however when I mouse over the day of the week a line appears on the graph below which almost seems to be the inverse of the blue area. What does this line mean? There is no information about it, but I can only deduce that it shows when peoples news feeds are less cluttered with posts and therefore my own posts are more likely to be seen? If that is the case then it would really help me to fine tune my posting times as I can balance the number of people online against the amount of page ‘real estate’ that’s available. Any ideas?

    • dan_K2010

      Just in case anyone is wondering, the dark line represents the Facebook average. I think in my case, it had not been adjusted for my time zone so was slightly offset. It seems to to have been corrected now, and pretty much follows my average..

  • Greg

    When you look at your likes, comments & shares in your post are they different from those in the insights ? They NEVER match for me… Are you experiencing the same troubles ? Thanks for your help

  • Greg

    When you look at your likes, comments & shares in your post are they different from those in the insights ? They NEVER match for me… Are you experiencing the same troubles ? Thanks for your help Jon !

  • Kimberly Anne

    Hi Jon! Thanks for the awesome review – I’ve been digging around in new insights for quite a while now, and still learned a few new things from this post.

    The interface is a definite improvement, but I’m seeing a number of discrepancies in the data… for example, when I compare the Net Likes chart to the Where Your Page Likes Came From chart, it seems that the total the total number of likes on any given day should be the same for both charts, just broken down differently. But they are wildly different. I also can’t seem to get the data on paid likes and engagements correspond with what I see in Ad Manager. Is anyone else finding this to be a problem, or am I missing something?

    • Kimberly Anne

      YIke – sorry about the multiple images! The site told me the upload had failed and to try again. I guess it worked… several times.

  • Cynthia Lovely

    I finally got access to the new insights so I’m digging into it now. This is telling me the most successful type of post is “Status” but, we really never post just a status update – if not a link, it’ll always have an image (it’s a very visual industry). Even in the “All Posts” list, there are no status type updates (with that word bubble symbol). So where are they getting the reach and engagement for this type of post? It almost seems like they’ve combined all posts in this “status” type, is that what it is? That’s confusing. (Sorry, I kept getting an error that the image wouldn’t upload – but it took it 3x!!)

    • arainayat

      Do you know how I’ll get it?

  • Pow

    Thanks for the blog post! We used to generate similar graphs by downloading Facebook Insights data and making pivot tables. But now that Facebook does these graphs, fan behavior data has become available to more people.

    Under “Where your page likes came from” there’s a term that we’re still confused with. We get “On Page”, “Page Suggestions”, “Mobile”, but we don’t understand what “uncategorized” means. Any help explaining what “uncategorized” means would be great.

  • Karolos

    This is a very nice work for explaining the new insights. Of course i have read it before but now i am interested in intrepeting “When your fans are online”. Jon do you trust this? I am manager to many pages and in all i see 9 pm – 10 pm. It seems strange

  • MRGwordgirl

    The worst change to Insights was the omission of the feature that
    allowed us to look at posts in order of reach, starting with the most
    reached. These could then be clicked on for additional information about
    likes, comments, and shares. This was invaluable for me, and I’ve asked
    repeatedly to have it returned. I post every half hour, 24/7, and
    scrolling through one day of post metrics is cumbersome enough –
    looking at an entire month is impossibly time consuming. There needs to
    be an additional feature that separates out original posts from shared
    posts so we can examine the metrics for our only those posts.

  • Jonathan

    How do I return to the old design?

  • Angie Rodriguez

    Link clicks was a very important one to me! I still have access to it if I download a report with post level data in the old format, but that will end this month when that format won’t be offered anymore.