Facebook reports Page Insights bugs, fix on the way

The issues could give rise to inaccurate Page activity data

Facebook is working to correct a series of technical glitches it recently discovered in its Page Insights service causing erroneous activity data to be reported for administrative pages on the site.

The bugs, which were uncovered following an engineering audit, have affected the tool's organic and paid impression and reach reporting analytics, Facebook said Friday in a blog post.

Impressions and reach are metrics that administrators can use to monitor and assess how people are engaging with their Pages on Facebook. Impressions measure the number of times a post from a Page is displayed; reach measures the number of people who received impressions from a Page post. The tools, which provide a service similar to Google Analytics, are an important element in users' site activity forecasts, projections and data reports for clients.

It is not clear, however, how many users have been affected by the bugs, or over what period of time. Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But, "we are taking this very seriously," Facebook did say in the post. "We know that accurate data is fundamental to building and improving your Facebook presence," the company said.

The company began rolling out fixes to the problem Friday morning and will continue that over the weekend. "As soon as we found the bugs our engineering team began work to resolve them as quickly as possible," Facebook said.

The severity of the bugs' impact will vary from Page to Page and day to day based on a number of factors such as when and how frequently users post, Facebook said. The total reach for most Pages is expected to stay the same or increase, the company reported. Users are also likely to see an increase in paid reach if they ran News Feed ads.

To assess the impact on their individual pages, the company is instructing users to look at their organic, paid and viral reach and impressions for their Page and for posts over the next few weeks, starting Feb. 25.

Page Insights won't be able to be backfilled with historical data because the bugs have impacted Facebook's logging systems, the company reported. Only reporting, and neither delivery nor Ad Insights, were affected by the bugs, according to Facebook.

Certain quality and verification measures have already been put in place to prevent future bugs and resolve them quickly, Facebook said.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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