Facebook is at it again.

At WebpageFX, social media is on the forefront of many campaigns and 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:

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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):

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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.”

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

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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!

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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.

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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.