Facebook Releases New Publisher Tools and Announces Improvements to Insights
Facebook’s 1.23 billion monthly active users have become a major draw for publishers seeking a large and engaged audience. Over the last couple of months, Facebook has been listening to feedback from media publishers around the world in order to help publishers better engage with their audiences.
As a result, the social network announced on December 10, 2014, the introduction of new tools for media publishers. Other changes include major improvements to Insights, and the inclusion of more resources and communication channels for publishers. Additionally, publishers will get access to new tools like Interest Targeting, Post End Date, and Smart Publishing. Insights now contains new sections and categories for more accurate reporting.
Interest Targeting lets publishers target specific subsets of people they believe will be interested in the content they post. As seen in Figure 1 above, a post about the television show Girl Meets World can be targeted to people who have specific interests related to the show. This would let them see these types of posts, and those who may have no interest in such posts will not have their News Feed cluttered.
For some timely content that publishers want to make more visible, they can make use of the Post End Date tool. This would help in removing out of date posts, and also keeps what’s relevant on the Page. As demonstrated in Figure 2 below, it can be useful for publishing time-sensitive posts, such as sports scores and weather reports.
Big publishers will also find much use in the new Smart Publishing tool, as it helps identify content that is popular with people on Facebook and publishes it. While Facebook considers it an “optional tool,” enabling it would put a site’s frequently shared links on users’ News Feeds, provided that they have also liked the Page. Publishers will also gain access to a new dashboard in Insights to view analytics, moderate comments, and choose content to be posted to their Pages.
Some improvements have also been made to Insights to help media publishers “understand and optimize how their content is performing on Facebook.” As stated by Holly Ormseth in the official announcement: “We’ve made a variety of improvements to Domain Insights to show how Pages and social plugins drive traffic to websites.”
Publishers can now look at URL-level reporting and take note if anyone notable has shared their content. [See Figure 3 below]
Facebook has also addressed some issues that have been plaguing third-party analytics tools. A previous bug that affected referrer data on outbound mobile links has now been resolved on iOS and will be coming soon to Android.
As of December 10, 2014, Interest Targeting and Post End Date were only available to all Pages that have enabled the Targeting and Privacy setting, and are only accessible on desktop.
With these new tools and changes in place, as Chris Cox has noted in a post, it is Facebook’s hope that the whole industry “from big institutions like the BBC in London to small news magazines like the Irrawaddy in Chiang Mai…distribute the right stories to the right people at the right time.”
Have the new publisher tools and improvements to Insights helped you reach your audience better? Share your experiences in the Comments below.
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