Describing CrowdTangle Data
CrowdTangle tracks public data exclusively, and we encourage journalists to use the data in their work. When you do, please just make sure to include the correct caveats around what the system tracks, so readers are aware of all limitations and understand the full picture. This article provides more information on the data we track across platforms.
CrowdTangle counts the number of times users comment on, react to or share an account's posts; in the tool this is known as “total interactions.” It also counts three second video views, which are *not* included in total interactions. If you're speaking to another metric, please make sure to properly cite how it's calculated.
The data includes public posts made by Facebook Pages, verified Facebook profiles, and Facebook public groups, as well as public accounts on Instagram. Here's what the entire system is tracking. It does not include activity on private accounts, or posts made visible only to specific groups of followers. It does not include paid ads unless those ads began as organic, non-paid posts that were subsequently “boosted” using Facebook’s advertising tools. Please use the Facebook Ads Library to measure and understand paid marketing. On any post in CrowdTangle, you can use the carat dropdown in the top right of the post to go directly to the ads library data for that page. Because the system doesn’t distinguish this type of paid content, note that some high-performing content may have had paid distribution
Please keep in mind that measuring total interactions or views on social media is an imperfect way to gauge an account's influence, in part because it does not distinguish between types of engagement. A negative comment left on a post by an angry user would still count as an interaction, for example. In addition, it does not account for the fact that some accounts have more followers than others.
If you’re going to use CrowdTangle data in an article, you should make sure your readers understand what’s included in our data and what isn’t. We recommend including a paragraph similar to the one below:
"This data cited is sourced from CrowdTangle, a social media analytics tool owned by Facebook. CrowdTangle tracks public posts on Facebook, Instagram and Reddit, made by public accounts or groups. The tool does not track every public account and does not track private profiles or groups, so this data is not representative of performance across the entire platform. The numbers shown here reflect public interactions (likes, reactions, comments, shares, upvotes and three second views), but do not include reach or referral traffic. It does not include paid ads unless those ads began as organic, non-paid posts that were subsequently “boosted” using Facebook’s advertising tools. Because the system doesn’t distinguish this type of paid content, note that some high-performing content may have had paid distribution. CrowdTangle also does not track posts made visible only to specific groups of followers."
Please also make sure to disclose what list or search terms you're using, if those tools were used in pulling the data.
Citing CrowdTangle in Research
To cite CrowdTangle in a journal article or other body of research, please use the following format:
CrowdTangle Team (Year Accessed). CrowdTangle. Facebook, Menlo Park, California, United States. URL: [Insert API or web application URL of List, Leaderboard, Search, Live Display, or Intelligence analysis here.]
CrowdTangle Team (2019). CrowdTangle. Facebook, Menlo Park, California, United States. URL: https://apps.crowdtangle.com/naomidemo/lists/23190
If you have questions on any of this, or how to cite something, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to reading your stories!