Facebook Insights API Now Shows if Page Post Likes and Comments Come From Mobile

Over the last week, Facebook has quietly improved the Insights API for Page posts such that admins can now tell the percentage of their Post Likes and comments that came through a mobile device. The device source data can help Pages that use third-party analytics tools to interpret the Insights API determine what type of devices their audience are using to consume their content, which could help them optimize their post content mix.

Since m.facebook.com, and several of the popular Facebook native mobile apps default to show the Most Recent feed, while the web version defaults to the Top News feed, Pages can infer how frequently their posts are making it into the coveted Top News feed by shifts from the percentage of engagement coming from the non-mobile “Stream” source.

The image above shows Insights API data visualized through analytics tool PageLever. Stream indicates clicks that come from the news feed, Profile indicates click that come from a Page’s wall. Its likely that Facebook will add this data to the native Insights tool’s graphical user interface in the near future, though we’re still awaiting comment from the company on this, and on what “Other” signfies.

These new data types are only available as far back as April 15th, so there still may be some bugs that explain data irregularities. Still, if fixed and rolled out, the mobile versus web source data on Page post Likes and comments help Pages understand their audience.

For instance, if a lot of a Page’s engagement is coming from mobile devices, it might not want to post Facebook videos, as those can’t be played through mobile devices. Instead they would want to either post YouTube links that can be played on some smartphones (although they often pull the user away from the Facebook experience) or just not post many videos.

Similarly, if only a small percentage comes from mobile, they might want to post more videos, links to third-party websites, or flash games that are easier to access on the web.