This morning Facebook announced that during a comprehensive audit of their page insight tool, they discovered bugs that impacted reporting page and posts’ organic and paid reach and impressions from as far back as August. This was only for the data reported in the page insights and not for the ads manager tools.
What This Means to Brands
Facebook reassured that these bugs did not impact actual delivery of ads or posts across the platform. The only implication is in the reporting of these numbers from a brand page’s insights tool. Facebook is unable to determine the extent to which each brand page and each of its posts are affected, and they recommend that brands start comparing true reach and impressions once the fixes are in place.
Unfortunately, it will not be possible to amend historical data as these bugs affected Facebook’s log and how that data was stored on the deepest level. To get the best understanding of page performance, unfortunately advertisers will have to rely only on future data.
Worst Case Scenario
In considering what this news means to brands, any reporting and insights that focused on engagement per reach or virality were inaccurate. TechCrunch suggested that some businesses and other admins may have thought their Pages were less valuable than they were because of dips in reach. However, the engagement on Facebook has not changed. If a brand’s post had high engagement, it had good content, despite Facebook’s said reach for that post.
Solutions from Facebook
As soon as they discovered this bug, Facebook notified everyone and began working on fixing the issue. They will have a full scope of the bugs’ implications during the next two weeks, but have resolved the bug as of Monday, February 25th.
For reporting moving forward, it may be best t0 focus more on engagement. Additionally, this announcement needs to be considered when comparing future reach data with old reach data to extract further insights and create new benchmarks for content performance in regards to reach and engagements per reach.