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Facebook Rolls Out More Robust Insights

Facebook announced at F8 They Will Roll Out More Robust Insights and AnalyticsI’m not at the F8 conference today, but I have been reading the news and keeping up with the announcements.  So far, the most exciting stories I have read have to do with Facebook Insights, the dashboard for page admins. If you run a fan page (now called a “like” page, I suppose) for a brand, agency or just for yourself, this is important information.

To date, the Insights have been underwhelming.  They have covered only the most basic information, and as somebody who works with big brands to engage and guide the community, I’ve got to say they have been less than helpful.  It seems that all of that changes today, however.  Facebook has announced “Facebook for Web Sites” and have already published full documentation about it.  The insight to user behavior should be interesting, as Facebook says:

“Once your app is up-and-running, you can get detailed analytics about the demographics of your users and how users are sharing from your application with Insights.

Insights supports analytics broken down by application and by domain. The product includes rich data about users sharing content from your site within Facebook no matter where those shares originated. For example, if a user puts a URL from your site in their Facebook status message, that data is included in the analytics for your domain.

The data from Insights is also included in the Graph API so you can integrate the Facebook analytics data with your own, in-house analytics systems.”

You can read some good commentaries over at Read Write Web and All Facebook. I’m not a developer, so it’s a bit early for me to really speculate on the implications of all of this.  I am a marketer, and the implications for this are exciting.  Having access to more granular user data (for example, being able to see what happens to a wall post after it is shared) is exciting and helpful.  It will allow me to do my job far more effectively, and will help me to predict future user behavior more easily, as opposed to just looking backward at what they have done.  Privacy groups are already crying foul (which is no surprise, the tiniest change in Facebook evokes this reaction), so we’ll see how it all plays out.

I think this is the first of many steps that Facebook will take to solidify itself as the premier destination, not just for users, but also for brands.

If you want to watch the video of F8, you can do so on the Facebook page. So what do you think…is this a step in the right direction, or a slippery slope toward invasion of privacy?

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By Matt Singley

Personal: husband to Alison, father to four amazing kids. I used to live a fast but enjoyable life in Los Angeles, now I have chickens on acreage in Charlotte, North Carolina. Just a bit different. I'm an advocate for cycling as much as you can and eating as cleanly as you can afford. Professional: I'm the CEO of Singley + Mackie, a creative digital agency that serves well-known lifestyle and entertainment companies around the world. Clients include Microsoft, Samsung, Hulu, YP and others. If you want to find the more-professional me, go to http://singleymackie.com