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!