Facebook quietly released an API for its new real-time Insights last week (Update: API officially announced) that lets developers build tools that allow companies to track news feed post performance, virality, and negative feedback. Just five days later, EdgeRank Checker has just released a dashboard for monitoring this data so clients can publish the best possible content on their Facebook Page, and earn the biggest return on their social media investment.
Before Facebook even announced the real-time Insights API, my scoop on its coming launch kicked EdgeRank Checker into high-gear. Founder Chad Wittman tells me “when you broke the news about real-time coming, I had a million great ideas. Now is the time to implement as many as possible.” We hustle all day on the news here at TechCrunch, so we like to see when developers put the same passion into their code.
Facebook used to take days to update its Insights graphical user interface and API with data on news feed post performance. That was too slow for companies to realize a post was getting so many clicks that they should promote it with Sponsored Stories ads. It was also too slow to show a post was so annoying that users were unsubscribing from that Page and that the publisher should delete the post immediately. Only Likes, comments, and shares were shown in real-time.
Now Facebook Insights and its API update every five to fifteen minutes, and so does EdgeRank Checker’s tool. Unlike Facebook’s native Insights GUI which has to be refreshed for new data, EdgeRank Checker clients can just leave the browser-based tool open and watch data roll in. This per post data includes:
- Organic, viral, and paid impressions
- Unique viewers
- Clicks of links, photos, videos or any other in-post content
- Likes, comments, and shares
- Virality and viral lift (how paid and viral impact organic)
- Negative feedback such as unlikes and being hidden from the news feed
The bootstrapped EdgeRank Checker is still scrambling to increase its server capacity, so unfortunately for now clients have to leave the dashboard open in a browser window to get data every five minutes. Otherwise when they return they’ll see data points for every hour. Wittman tells me “Regardless, we felt this tool was valuable enough to contribute to users immediately. There’s nothing like this out there.” EdgeRank Checker gave TechCrunch the exclusive on this launch, which it will announce later today.
As the roll-out of real-time Insights is just now hitting the last Facebook Pages, expect other analytics providers like PageLever and Webtrends to release real-time tools soon. The fact is you can’t win at social media by going on hunches. You need data to know what do. Otherwise you could be shooting yourself in the foot without realizing.