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Real-Time Analytics For Social Plugins

March 8, 2011ByAlex Himel

Over the past year, social plugins have become an important and growing source of traffic for millions of websites. Today we're releasing a new version of Insights for Websites to give you better analytics on how people interact with your content and to help you optimize your website in real-time.

Like button analytics
For the first time, you can now access real-time analytics to optimize Like buttons across both your site and on Facebook. We use anonymized data to show you the number of times people saw Like buttons, clicked Like buttons, saw Like stories on Facebook, and clicked Like stories to visit your website.

You can use this real-time data to test the impact of button placement on Like Button CTR or identify the Open Graph image that generates the highest Like Story CTR.

Comments box analytics
Last week we launched an updated Comments Box that improves the quality of conversations and drives traffic to the websites that use it. Similar to the data we provide for Like buttons, we show the number of times people saw Comments Boxes, left comments, saw comment stories on Facebook, and clicked to see the content on your site.

Popular Pages
We’ve also expanded Popular Pages to show you the top 100 pages that people are liking, commenting on, and sharing. We hope the real-time reporting and additional granularity help you quickly identify opportunities to highlight engaging content.

To help you tailor your content and products to your users, we now provide demographic information for the interactions that occur on your site and on Facebook. We display demographics for gender, age range, country, and language, and we count data on a per-interaction (not per-user) basis. This data is aggregated so no personally identifiable information can be accessed.

Organic Sharing
Insights is designed for websites that use social plugins, but even those that haven't yet implemented plugins can see how people are sharing links to your site in status updates and Wall posts. After you claim access, visit the “Shares” tab to see traffic generated from links copy-and-pasted into the Publisher or posting a link using the old Share functionality.

For developers, these new website metrics are also accessible through the Graph API and the Insights FQL table.

Many of the metrics included in this version of Insights are new, so historical data is not available. We will continue to provide access to the old Insights for the next two months, but we encourage you to export your data for future reference.

To learn more about Insights for Websites, please see our documentation or Insights product guide (pdf). Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Alex is one of many engineers working diligently to improve Facebook Insights.