Facebook provides reach data directly on Timeline posts

Some Facebook page owners can now view certain post metrics directly from their Timeline, including the percentage of fans that saw a given post and the percentage of those who saw the post as a result of paid promotion.

This gives page owners an at-a-glance understanding of how many fans they are reaching. Or, more likely, make them realize how many they aren’t reaching. As users share more and connect with more Open Graph applications, there are more stories competing for placement in News Feed. Increasingly, page owners will have to support their content efforts on Facebook with paid media.

In February, Facebook said that pages reach only 16 percent of their fans each week on average. By showing reach percentages on Timeline rather than requiring page owners to visit the insights dashboard to see them, the social network can subtly encourage page owners to consider spending money on Sponsored Stories or Reach Generator, a premium offering which guarantees that a page reaches at least 75 percent of fans within a month.

Facebook has provided other post metrics in-line with a page’s content in the past. In 2010, it began displaying total impressions and feedback percentage for each post. This wasn’t always helpful because impressions were not unique and feedback was calculated by adding Likes plus comments and dividing by the total number of impressions. Posts that generated fewer impressions often had higher feedback percentages, which made it difficult for page owners to determine their success.

A year later, the social network tried expanding the number of metrics included below each post on a page’s Wall. Page owners could see impressions, unique users, clicks, clickthrough rate and engagement percentage. However, the real-time insights were buggy and ultimately scrapped. Toward the end of 2011, Facebook changed its per post metrics from impressions to total people reached and from feedback to People Talking About This. When Timeline for pages rolled out in March, these counts were only visible from the insights tool.

Our friends at All Facebook first wrote about this change to Timeline.

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