Facebook! The social media platform brought to life by American internet entrepreneur, and philanthropist Mark Zuckerberg is known worldwide as the default social network…. So why the Zuck’ are they getting rid of Facebook Analytics?! Does it not compete with Google Analytics for supremacy in online data tracking? Well, actually no.
Facebook has long been considered a data giant, boasting access to the most powerful cross platform tools in social media for nearly a decade. With deeply personal information about it’s 3 billion users, developers are able to accurately target their ideal customer with more ease than ever before. This kind of access and usability has made it far superior than any other platform available, so why would they be retiring Facebook Analytics?
What does Facebook Analytics actually do?
It was born to be a free platform which gave businesses a more structured approach to their social media efforts and business goals and helped users measure how people interact with their content. However, it’s quickly been out-gunned by competitors, not offering enough unique insights or better interfaces to match third-party competitors, such as Amplitude and Mixpanel.
It seems that the only premium Facebook Analytics came with was the interconnectivity to other Facebook tools, which unfortunately has become redundant with the easy integration of third-party applications.
If it never had significant traction, why retire it now?
With the imminent release of IOS 14 and the myriad of privacy changes that it entails, Facebook Pixel’s data tracking capabilities will be significantly impacted. Unfortunately for Facebook Analytics, it heavily relies on the Pixel. This tide of changes means the functional end of the platform and a final nail in the coffin. However, whilst these analytics won’t be available anymore, the data drawn from these services will (just in different places), and used for the purpose of ad optimisation rather than broad web analysis. So no, you won’t be able to access Facebook Analytics anymore, but the data will still be available and visible within other tools.
Facebook instead points us towards using existing tools to supplement the functionality of Facebook Analytics;
- Facebook Business Suite provides you with a central platform from which you can manage your Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as view detailed insights, content and trends about audiences;
- Ads Manager lets you view, make changes and see results for your campaigns;
- Events Manager helps set up and manage backend Facebook Business Tools like the Facebook Pixel and conversions API, whilst also tracking actions taken on your website, app and physical store.
While many users will sorely miss this analytics tool, all of its functionality (and more!) can be found elsewhere on apps like DashThis, HubSpot and SalesForce all of which collate data to tell stories of performance and interconnectivity between components of your online presence.
Honestly, I use FBA multiple times a week. For SMBs who have no other way to cohort their customer journeys, its best in class. It’s also free. Deprecation will be a big loss for a lot of brands, whether they recognize it or not.
— Daniel Pearson (@danielpearson) April 1, 2021
The full extent to which IOS-14 will change the landscape of digital marketing remains to be seen, but Facebook isn’t the only platform which will feel these changes, TikTok, Pinterest and Snapchat are just a couple of other pixel engaged platforms which will need to rethink how they access their data.