Please cite CrowdTangle whenever you use our data. Make sure to read the caveats below so you can cite as accurately as possible. This article provides more information on the data we track across platforms.

Citation format

Short-form citation: Data from CrowdTangle, a public insights tool owned and operated by Facebook.

Long-form citation: Data from CrowdTangle, a Facebook-owned tool that tracks interactions on public content from Facebook pages and groups, verified profiles, Instagram accounts, and subreddits. It does not include paid ads unless those ads began as organic, non-paid posts that were subsequently “boosted” using Facebook’s advertising tools. It also does not include activity on private accounts, or posts made visible only to specific groups of followers.

Academic journal citation:

CrowdTangle Team (Year Accessed). CrowdTangle. Facebook, Menlo Park, California, United States. List ID: [Insert List or Saved Search ID number]

For example:

CrowdTangle Team (2020). CrowdTangle. Facebook, Menlo Park, California, United States. [List ID number]

To cite multiple lists or Saved Searches, add multiple List ID numbers separated by commas to the citation.

Additional caveats on the data CrowdTangle is tracking:

Please keep in mind that CrowdTangle is not tracking all public Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit accounts. 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, and because it does not account for the fact that some accounts have more followers than others. This article provides more information on the data we track across platforms.

CrowdTangle tracks the following data:

  • Post content and interaction numbers from public Pages, public Facebook Groups, Verified Profiles, as well as public Instagram accounts and public Reddit posts.
  • Page likes, group size, and Instagram account followers
  • 3-second native video views

Please keep in mind:

  • CrowdTangle does not track individual users’ posts.
  • CrowdTangle does not expose impressions or reach. Using interactions on a post is not a reliable way to deduce or calculate impressions.
  • URL-level interaction data is not fully integrated throughout the platform
  • CrowdTangle does not include activity on private accounts, or posts made visible only to specific groups of followers.

Paid Content

CrowdTangle 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 dropdown in the top right corner 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.

About CrowdTangle

CrowdTangle is a public insights tool from Facebook that makes it easy to follow, analyze, and report on what’s happening across social media. Facebook acquired CrowdTangle in November, 2016, made the tool free, and expanded access from 300 media partners to more than 10,000, including global sports leagues, local newspapers, digital publishers, music labels, celebrity accounts, and more.

Starting in 2019, CrowdTangle added research, academic and fact-checking partners, and built tools to help these partners study how public content spreads across Facebook and Instagram. By building products to more easily track public content, CrowdTangle has become the best way for outside organizations to have greater transparency into what’s happening on Facebook and Instagram. The hope is that a greater shared understanding around how public content spreads will shape the broader online conversation, and help make information on social media safer, more reliable, and more accurate.

Further Questions?

If you have any more questions about CrowdTangle, the data CrowdTangle tracks, or how to cite CrowdTangle in your work, please reach out to support@crowdtangle.com.

Did this answer your question?