Facebook Page Insights Bug Throws Scare Into News Publishers

Facebook blamed a bug for a recent drop in the reach and shares by media publishers.

NewsWhip10PublishersSharesJanFeb2015Facebook blamed a bug for a recent drop in the reach and shares by media publishers.

Social media news aggregator NewsWhip published a blog post earlier this week, reporting that Facebook shares for 10 major publishers — including The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, The New York Times and Fox News — showed a dramatic decline starting in mid-February and continuing into March.

However, a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable the lower numbers were the result of a bug, saying:

We experienced an issue with page insights logging in February that failed to count some viral reach accurately. Importantly, actual delivery of posts was not affected by this issue; this was a reporting issue only. We identified and resolved this issue in early March, and page insights are now correctly reporting organic reach. We apologize for any unintended impact this may have had to our partners.

The glitch caused many publishers to believe there was another change to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that was impacting them negatively, with one U.K. publisher telling NewsWhip it was a “Faceboocalypse.” NewsWhip added that the 100 most-shared English-language stories fell to slightly more than 10.2 million shares in February, from more than 16.4 million in January.

Readers: Did you notice any changes in the frequency of posts from news publishers in your News Feeds?

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.