Facebook Insights: What’s Great and What’s Still Missing?

Share this post!

Facebook recently overhauled its Page Insights: i.e., the stats page owners get for their page. Let’s take a look at what’s great and what’s not.

Tour of Facebook's new Insights for pages

Facebook’s clearly made an effort to cater to its business users (or page owners) with the new Insights. Instead of being the difficult-to-understand, difficult-to-navigate mess the old Insights was, the new Insights (and the nice tour of it) talk directly to the user and actually offer insights. 

Time periods for data now clear

Facebook’s fixed one of the most irritating problems with Insights data: the ambiguous time periods. On the Overview tab, the data’s clearly marked “the last 7 days” along with the dates. In some sections, you can actually customize time periods. Thank you, Facebook.

Facebook Insights Overview tab shows last 7 days of stats

Overview is a good snapshot of the week, but could have included values in the graphs

The Overview tab shows the percentage change from last week for likes, reach, and engagement: actually a good view of your week. What I don’t like is the absence of values within the line graph: you have to click on the graph for even the most basic details.

Post Reach line graph on the Overview tab of Facebook Insights

The Page Likes tab has three similar graphs

Let’s click on the Page tab and look at the Page Likes section. Total page likes, new likes, paid likes, unlikes, net likes, like sources… this is all valuable info, but instead of having three very similar area graphs, maybe they could have represented this data in a more interesting way?

Similarly for the Post Reach graphs… I’m tired of all these area graphs. But I like how you can highlight one line in the Likes, Comments, and Shares graph by hovering over it.

Page Visits: more area and line graphs. Views of different tabs on your page, activities by others on your page (posts, check-ins, mentions, offers purchased), referrals from other sites. Nothing new here, but the graphs look clean and pretty.

External Referrers graph on Facebook Insights

And hey, you can filter the data for a time period you want — though it refused to allow me to set the date to before May 1, 2013.

Nothing new in the All Posts table

I don’t see anything new in the All Posts table, except that it looks prettier than before. I wish they’d spell out the type of post, at least on hovering over the icon. I like that you can break out Clicks or Likes, Comments, and Shares, but would have liked it better if it was broken out by default instead of wasting space with the Boost buttons on each row. (Though I guess those come in useful if you do a lot of advertising.)

See when your fans are online (without enough detail)

The When Your Fans Are Online section is brilliant. I know most page owners really want to know this. I don’t much see the point of averaging it for an hour or showing “any posts on Facebook” instead of my posts (or my posts on top of this), but it’s a good start. Though I don’t know why this data is in the Posts tab instead of in the People tab.

Area graph shows times your fans are online; hover over a day in the Days graph to see times for that dayIf you hover over a day in the first graph, the bottom graph shows a line for that day.

Best Post Types is great, but for which time period?

Best Post Types is also really useful information — though Markitty did this first! What Markitty still does better: showing the number of posts for each type, and breaking out stories, likes, and comments. And clearly indicating the time period. For some reason, Facebook didn’t think the time period needed to be spelled out for this one. 

Facebook Insights shows Best Post Types in Posts tab

People tab tells you who you’re reaching through your Facebook page

I love the People tab: it lays out the age, gender, location, and language not just of your fans, but also of anyone who’s seen mentions of your post or page, and people who engaged with your page. There is a lot of detail here, and if you are a consumer brand targeting a narrow segment, this is a gold mine.

If I nitpick, I’d like all of these info on the same tab for better comparison.

Where’s the Help?

The Insights page used to have help text when you hover over something: all of that’s gone now. This might be temporary and Facebook may soon bring it back… or it may be that with the better, simplified graphs and tables, Facebook thinks users don’t need tool tips.

And that’s what I like and what I don’t about the new Insights. In short, it’s so much better than what it used to be, and I’m glad Facebook made these long-overdue changes. I hope we won’t have to wait as long for the next round of improvements!

What should you do with all this information on Facebook Insights? Use it to focus your marketing more.

One thought on “Facebook Insights: What’s Great and What’s Still Missing?

Go on, tell us what you're thinking.