Facebook Overhauls Page and App Insights, Adds Domain Analytics Features and an API

Facebook announced a big overhaul of its Insights analytics tool earlier this week at its f8 developer conference. The new version is live now, and provides much improved analysis for Page, application and web site owners. Upgrades include a new dashboard, visualization tools, a lot of new data to look at, and an API so developers can extract and analyze data on their own. Here’s a detailed look at all the changes; you can also watch a video of Facebook engineers discussing the changes, here.

The first is the dashboard. The Pages and Applications Insights were separate before, but now you can see any Page or app that you’re an admin of by going to facebook.com/insights. In addition, you can add Insights for your web site by adding a meta tag in your root web page. This will allow you to track Facebook activity on your site; the interface for the tool, called “Insights for your Domain,” is also viewable from the dashboard.

Page Insights

Page owners now get more information about the activity related to what they’re publishing, within two subsections for each Page on Insights. The first subsection, Fans, shows a wide range of activity from fans. The second shows Interactions.

Here’s what’s on the Fans subsection, from top to bottom: a counter showing your daily active fans, daily new fans and total fans, including the growth rate for each versus the previous day. A top chart shows DAU while a lower chart shows new fans, removed fans, total fans, and users who have hidden your Page from appearing in their news feeds. In these graphs and all others we discuss below, you can toggle each data point on and off. DAU, by the way, is defined as “users who have engaged with your Page, viewed your Page, or consumed content generated by your Page.”

There’s also data about particular items that contributed to the DAU count. Insights shows the following sources of information to the right of the top graph:

  • Daily Stream Story Viewers
  • Page Visitors
  • Daily Fans who Liked
  • Daily Fans who Commented
  • Daily Fans who Posted to Your Wall

If you mouse over each of these items, you can see the rate of change versus the previous day’s stats.

To the right of the lower graph, you can also see the percentage fan contributions brought in by parts of the site. They include:

  • Fan Page
  • Stream
  • Requests

Beneath this section, there are a few other graphs with valuable data. A Demographics graph shows the percentage breakdown of fans by age and gender. A set of tables shows you a percentage breakdown of the top 20 countries, cities and languages that make up the fan base.

The next part of the Fans subsection shows Activity. The upper graph shows page views and unique page views. A section beneath this shows the percentage breakdown of various tabs. They might include, for example:

  • Wall
  • Information
  • Photos
  • Static FBML
  • Static FBML 2
  • Video

Next to this data you can also see the top web site traffic referrers to the page. These can include ad campaigns on Facebook, widgets that link to a Page, flash promotions, blog links, search engine marketing campaigns and other web marketing efforts, according to Facebook data engineer Roddy Lindsay.

The last graph shows Media Consumption, including Video Plays, Photo Views and Audio Plays.

The other subsection for each Pages shows Interactions. There’s not nearly as much data on this part. You can see the number and percentage change for Daily Post Views and Daily Post Feedback. The graph shows Daily Story Feedback, including Likes, Comments and Unsubscribes. The view of negative activity here could be especially useful for brands trying to understand what sort of content their fans appreciate. Some people might like and comment on certain posts, for example, and others might un-like the Page.

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