What is CrowdTangle?

CrowdTangle is a public insights tool from Facebook that makes it easy to follow, analyze, and report on what’s happening with public content on social media.

What is CrowdTangle used for?

Organizations primarily use CrowdTangle to:

  1. Follow. Easily follow public content across Facebook, Instagram and Reddit.
  2. Analyze. Benchmark and compare performance of public accounts over time.
  3. Report. Track referrals and find larger trends to understand how public content spreads on social media.

Some examples include:

  • Journalists using CrowdTangle Search to search across Facebook or Instagram for content relevant to their reporting.
  • Social media managers tracking their own account performance and comparing themselves to the competition in Intelligence.
  • TV producers broadcasting real-time streams of social posts related to breaking news events using Live Displays.
  • Fact-checkers identifying posts that contain misinformation.
  • Researchers analyzing trends across thousands of accounts over time and reporting on how information spreads.

You can also see specific examples within our case studies.

What data does CrowdTangle track?

CrowdTangle only tracks publicly available posts.

The kind of data CrowdTangle shares includes:

  • When something was posted.
  • The type of post (video, image, text).
  • Which Page or public account it was posted from, or which public group it was posted to.
  • How many interactions (e.g. likes, reactions, comments, shares) or video views it received.
  • Which other public Pages or accounts shared it.

CrowdTangle doesn't track:

  • Reach or impressions on a post.
  • Ephemeral content like stories.
  • Demographic information on users. CrowdTangle can tell you a particular post earned 1,000 likes, but it can't tell you who liked it, where they are from or their age.
  • Paid or boosted posts. CrowdTangle doesn’t differentiate between paid or organic engagement.
  • Any data or posts from private accounts, or accounts that have put location or age restrictions on their content.

What accounts does CrowdTangle track?

CrowdTangle tracks influential public accounts and groups across Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit, including all verified users, profiles, and accounts like politicians, journalists, media and publishers, celebrities, sports teams, public figures and more. CrowdTangle also can track 7 days of public Twitter data via CrowdTangle Search and our Chrome Extension. CrowdTangle does not track any private accounts.

CrowdTangle’s database currently includes:

  • Facebook: 5M+ Facebook Pages, public Groups, and verified profiles. This includes all Facebook Pages with more than 100K likes (new Pages are added automatically via an API).
  • Instagram: 1.8M+ public Instagram accounts. This includes all accounts with more than 75K followers, as well as all verified accounts.
  • Reddit: ~20K+ of the most active subreddits. Built and maintained in partnership with Reddit.

You can see a table that summarizes the percentage of Facebook Pages active in the last 28 days that CrowdTangle tracks, updated monthly here.

Can I get access to CrowdTangle?

Although full CrowdTangle access is only available to a limited set of eligible organizations, anyone can download the CrowdTangle Link Checker Chrome Extension. The Chrome Extension makes it easy to see how often a URL has been shared, which public Pages or accounts shared it, and engagement data on those posts.

How do I get full CrowdTangle access?

CrowdTangle is currently only available to a limited set of eligible organizations. These include:

  • News publishers registered with Facebook’s News Page Index.
  • Facebook’s third-party fact-checking partners.
  • Eligible sports and entertainment content creators.
  • University academics and researchers. If you are university-based academic you can apply here.
  • Organizations included in pilot programs that can help ensure integrity around vital public information (i.e. public health guidance and voting information).

If you fall into the above categories and are looking for full access you can reach out to support@crowdtangle.com.

Does CrowdTangle cost money?

All of CrowdTangle is completely free.

What are some of CrowdTangle’s core products?

Here are CrowdTangle core products and what they do:

  • CrowdTangle Search. Search is the easiest way to search for and discover content across social media. Users can search for a keyword, hashtag, or URL and filter by social platform, country, language, post type, timeframe, and more. Search will also look across all text on images, making it possible to search for memes. It also provides visualizations for how keywords have trended over time across Facebook and Instagram.
  • Live Displays. Live Displays are real-time streams of public posts, filtered to show only the most relevant content around important topics and events. CrowdTangle publishes public Live Displays, available to anyone, around major news events so that organizations can keep track of what’s happening across social platforms moment to moment. CrowdTangle users can also build their own Live Displays to make available to their teams.
  • Intelligence. Intelligence lets users compare multiple public Pages, accounts, or subreddits against each other. It’s used to help identify performance trends over time with easy to understand graphs and charts.
  • Notifications. Organizations can set up email and Slack notifications to streamline their social monitoring. They can be immediately alerted when posts from certain accounts are going viral, get weekly emails of top posts among a group or pages, or get notified daily of all new posts relevant to their team.
  • Dashboards. Each team has a CrowdTangle dashboard. From there they can create custom lists of public accounts and groups that they want to keep track of.

How should I cite CrowdTangle in an article?

When referencing CrowdTangle data in an article, you can say “Data from CrowdTangle, a public insights tool owned and operated by Facebook.” Please reference this article to make sure you are describing CrowdTangle data accurately, as well as for longer form citations.

What is the history of CrowdTangle being acquired by Facebook?

CrowdTangle was created to give greater insight into what’s happening on social media. Initially it was built to help organize social causes on Facebook. While the first version as a whole didn’t take off, one feature did: the ability to show what social content overperformed on Facebook Pages.

CrowdTangle expanded to include other social platforms and became an important way for newsrooms and media organizations to monitor performance and identify emerging stories. 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 creating easy-to-use products, 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.

How do I reach out for more questions or press inquiries?

For any questions, please contact support@crowdtangle.com.

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