How Many Views? Facebook Will Never Tell

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Facebook marketing experts, even the ones who aren’t also paid advertisers, know something regular Facebook profile owners don’t: They know how many page views they get. Thanks to Facebook’s analytic tools, branded page bosses get a pretty good idea of how many folks visit their pages on a daily basis. Brands of any size can use these helpful guides to see which Facebook posts were fan favorites or which ones were fails. Yet why can’t your mom or that guy you went to high school with have access to the same type of information? Buzzfeed wondered the same thing, and now Facebook has chimed in, too.

A blog post from Buzzfeed’s Charlie Warzel entitled “The Number Facebook Doesn’t Want You to See” explored the possible reasons Facebook won’t let non-page administrators have access to analytics tools. 

“Sure, there are indicators,” Warzel writes. “‘Likes,’ comments, and shares are the currency of social media and offer positive reinforcement to let you know if a post has resonated with others (and to keep you coming back for more). The only problem with this feedback, according to a new study, is that it doesn’t tell the whole story — in fact, it tells very little of it.”

Warzel goes on to quote Stanford assistant professor Michael S. Bernstein, who notes, “When you post on a social network, it’s almost like trying to give a presentation from behind a curtain. You know who’s invited and supposed to be listening, but you don’t know who is actually there in the room.”

Warzel then mentions that these data do exist, but that only Facebook and its advertisers have access to it. To be fair, however, so do small businesses or anyone who runs a page. Lars Backstrom, a Facebook news feed engineer, called the article “just plain wrong” and claims that after extensive research, Facebook concluded, “people are way more interested in seeing ‘who’ liked their posts, rather than just the number of people who saw it.” Backstrom says if enough users had wanted or asked for number of page view, Facebook would deliver it.

But let’s hear from you readers: Are you interested in knowing the page views of your personal page? Or are you done with Facebook and all of its analytics? Tell us in the comments section!

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