Facebook to begin counting viewable-only impressions for Pages’ organic reach next week

Facebook originally said it would switch to only counting viewable impressions in November 2016, but the new system took longer than expected to build.

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Brands and publishers have another reason to expect to see their Page posts’ organic reach decline, beyond last month’s News Feed algorithm change.

Next week, Facebook will finally start to count organic reach impressions only when a Page post actually appears on a person’s screen, the company announced on Friday. The new methodology for organic reach matches how Facebook already counts reach for ads.

“Since this is stricter reporting, some Pages may see lower reach figures than before,” Facebook said in a company blog post to be published on Friday.

Facebook had originally said in November 2016 that it would shift to viewable-only organic reach counts amid a series of measurement errors that it disclosed at the time. But more than a year later, it had yet to do so. In December, the company said that it had taken longer to build the new counting system than the company had expected and that the new methodology would be instituted in early 2018. And now it finally will be.

To help Page managers adjust to the new counts and evaluate the performance of new posts against that of older posts — and perhaps get a sense of what share of past impressions were non-viewable — Facebook will initially report two versions of Page posts’ organic reach: one using the old methodology and one using the new, viewable-only methodology. But eventually, Facebook will move to only reporting the viewable count.

Page Insights redesign

Pages’ organic reach counts aren’t the only thing that will start looking a little different. Facebook is also redesigning the mobile version of its Page Insights analytics tool.

Facebook PageInsightsMobileRedesign 1920

Facebook has redesigned the mobile version of its Page Insights tool.

The updated Page Insights tool will begin to roll out globally on Friday and will prioritize the most commonly sought-after measurements toward the top of the screen so that Pages can access that information more quickly. Those measurements include the number of likes, reach and engagement for the Page; recent post performance; and information about Page’s newer audience, such as a demographic breakdown of its recently added followers.

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About the author

Tim Peterson
Tim Peterson, Third Door Media's Social Media Reporter, has been covering the digital marketing industry since 2011. He has reported for Advertising Age, Adweek and Direct Marketing News. A born-and-raised Angeleno who graduated from New York University, he currently lives in Los Angeles. He has broken stories on Snapchat's ad plans, Hulu founding CEO Jason Kilar's attempt to take on YouTube and the assemblage of Amazon's ad-tech stack; analyzed YouTube's programming strategy, Facebook's ad-tech ambitions and ad blocking's rise; and documented digital video's biggest annual event VidCon, BuzzFeed's branded video production process and Snapchat Discover's ad load six months after launch. He has also developed tools to monitor brands' early adoption of live-streaming apps, compare Yahoo's and Google's search designs and examine the NFL's YouTube and Facebook video strategies.

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