Facebook is at it again.

At WebpageFX, we have noticed that on some of the accounts we manage, there have been slow-showing Facebook changes — and not all of them positive. The latest series of updates include changes to insights and Instagram metrics. So what does this mean for you? Let’s find out.

Changes to Instagram Reporting: Insights and Boost Option (Temporarily?) Removed

It appears that Facebook and Instagram’s relationship status has just changed to “complicated.”

After yesterday’s post on beating the Facebook organic reach cap with Instagram, Steve Fowler mentioned on Twitter that he could no longer see the reach of Instagram posts on a Page he had admin rights to:

We wanted to try this out for ourselves, so we posted a photo from our Instagram account to our Facebook page this morning. Here’s the post in action:

fb-instagram-feed

As you can see, the photo has 6 likes on Facebook. But this is what we see in our Page Insights (as of a few hours after the Instagram cross-post — long enough for reporting to kick in):

fb-instagram-noengagement

As of today, Facebook is not showing insight data for posts posted from the Instagram app to Facebook Pages. In addition, you can no longer “boost” a post from Instagram (the option is greyed out).

This has also been reported by a few Page admins in Facebook’s help community, one of which included this screenshot. Note that the “Reach” statistics are intact on prior Instagram cross-posts, but are missing for the most recent two.

from the Facebook Help Community
from the Facebook Help Community

At this time, it is unclear if these are permanent changes or simply a bug in the system affecting compatibility. Facebook’s FAQ page on boosted posts does not currently indicate that Instagram photos are off-limits. We’ve reached out to Facebook for a comment, but haven’t yet received a response.

Click here to see the June 3 update on this issue, and click here to see the June 11 update on the (apparent) resolution.

On a related note, as of early March 2014, Android users can no longer post photos from their phone to a company Facebook Page. They can still post to personal accounts, but Pages can no longer be added within the app. Instagram has not yet commented on when (or if) this will be changed.

Changes to Facebook Insights: Posts Now “Served,” Not “Seen”

If you manage any Facebook company pages, you may have noticed a change in the language of your on-page Facebook Insights. Previously, Facebook’s phrasing for organic/paid reach said “# people saw this post.”

fb-saw

The language now reads “this post was served to # people.”

fb-served

The wording change was tested several weeks ago (long enough to be noticed on Twitter), but was quickly reverted back.

This might seem like a minor language nuance, but it has major marketing metrics implications. The phrase “served to” does not indicate how many of those people actually saw the post in their news feed. It may have been available for viewing, but the user may not have scrolled down far enough in their feed to come across it.

facebook-logoBased on a comparison of shared and liked posts, versus ones with none, this change also seemingly excludes views from others not attached to your page. Meaning, if someone who likes your page sees and shares your post and their friends see it, Facebook only counts the view from the original person it was served to.

Also, the “served” metric now excludes multiple views from the same person. As any advertiser can tell you, multiple impressions go a long way toward message and brand recognition. Now there is no way to see how many times an individual post was viewed. Previously, Facebook counted all impressions, regardless of how the person came across it or how many times they had already seen it.

What do you think these changes mean? Is Facebook about to make a major change to its algorithm again? What have you noticed on Pages you manage? Are the results positive or disappointing? Tell us in the comments!

header image via

Update #1 (June 3, 2014):

Several Page administrators are reporting the same loss of Reach and Insights data for their Instagram posts. Additionally, a few Page admins are saying that they do not see any data in Insights for their posts, whether they are from Instagram or native posts on their Facebook Page.

After AllFacebook reported on this issue, Page admin Stephen Smith posted this screenshot of a standard (non-Instagram) post receiving no data in Insights:

original

Additionally, since the original publication of this post, this Facebook support thread has emerged as the central source for Page admins to chime in on the issue. Many are indicating that they feel the new Facebook Page layout is what “broke” the Insights reporting for both Instagram and non-Instagram posts — but there is not enough data to support that. The thread currently has more than 50 comments.

comment-newpage

As of this afternoon, Facebook still has not commented or responded to queries made by WebpageFX, AllFacebook, or those posting in its support forum about the loss of Insights data and Reach information for any Page posts. Some Page owners are reporting the return of their non-Instagram Insight data, while others claim the issue still persists for them.

Stay tuned for more information as the story continues to develop, and please feel free to continue adding your own experiences to the comments below!

Update #2 (June 11, 2014):

Sometime over the last few days, the missing Instagram data appears to have been restored, at least on our Page. We updated to the new Facebook layout at the end of last week, and it appears that it was around this time that the Instagram issue was resolved.

Here’s a screenshot of the test post as it appears this morning:

instagram_update

As you can see, the “Boost Post” option is still unavailable, but the metrics have returned.

Are you seeing the same thing, or are you missing any data in your Insights? Let us know! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this story and offered their own comments and screenshots.

  • LT1800

    I’ve noticed a huge UPtick in my organic impressions. It made me wonder if FB were reverting back a bit to the old model due to pushback from consumers?

  • Beth

    I’m now convinced page owners are the biggest whiners on Facebook. Now they’re all going to gnash and wail about how their posts are being “censored” again. sigh

  • plan8studios

    And then we’ll see all those posts “This is a test. If you can see this please like, comment, and share.”

  • Steven Goh

    I notice it too. All instagram post into Facebook page just went zero. For some reason, its not reaching people. Only people who click on the instagram post in Facebook will be logged. Or else, nada.

  • http://www.imaginehairart.com Imagine Studio for Hair & Art

    I am curious, our page has 1,812 likes but 3 of the posts from yesterday are showing that they were served to 27, 31 and 23 people. Granted not all of the people who have liked our page were online yesterday but I know that more than 27,31 and 23 were. How do you get the people that have actually liked your page to see your posts? Sure we could use the “boost” feature but that is going to reach people in a particular demographic and not just the people that like our page because they want to see what we have going on. I have had clients say to us that they never see what we post on facebook. I have seen people posting that little reminder that you have to follow or subscribe once you like but that post seems pointless to me if people aren’t seeing you to begin with. Any ideas?

  • http://twitter.com/nicoleckohler Nicole Kohler

    There is actually an option in boosted posts to target those connected to your Page! So if you have a really important update that you are willing to pay to expose to your fans, you can do that.

    Having said that, we’re all working hard to figure out what kind of content Facebook is willing to “surface” and show to more fans. Although the metrics aren’t working, Instagram posts DO get a lot of exposure: http://www.webpagefx.com/blog/social-media/business-facebook-page-instagram/ Images also still do really well.

    Generally speaking, the more a fan interacts with your Page, the more likely they are to see your updates. One way you can do this is by posting content that provokes some kind of reaction, ex. asks a question, shows something new and exciting, is so awesome that people will want to comment on it, So if you continuously post content that gets engagement, you are more likely to show up in feeds.

    We have some other tips here: http://www.webpagefx.com/blog/social-media/how-to-target-online-adults/ and we also provide social media management and promotion services if you’re looking for any help in that area.

    Hope this helps! Best of luck!