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FAQ: Followers

CrowdTangle will now use Followers as the default metric to measure a Facebook Page's audience size.

Written by Tess
Updated over a week ago

What is happening?

CrowdTangle will start using Followers instead of Likes as the default way to measure the audience size of a Facebook Page. Facebook recently introduced a new Pages experience, removing Page Likes from the platform to focus on Followers. Unlike Likes, Followers of a Page represent the people who can receive updates from Pages, and is a stronger indicator of a Page's fanbase. As a result, CrowdTangle will now default to Followers in our system across Intelligence, Leaderboards, API, and elsewhere.

You can see this most clearly by going to the ‘Followers’ tab in Intelligence. Page Like data will still be available to view by selecting it from the ‘Follower Type’ drop down in Intelligence.

What is the difference between follows and Likes?

The number of followers represent the number of people who have chosen to receive updates from a Page. When people Like a Page, this results in an automatic “Follow” that allows people to see the Page’s posts in News Feed. People who Liked a Page could choose to unfollow the Page and not see the Page’s posts in their News Feed, but still continue to demonstrate their support.

With the new Pages experience Facebook is introducing, Page Likes will go away and Followers will be the default metric. Learn more about the new Page experience in the Facebook Help Center.

Will Page Likes still be available to view historically in CrowdTangle?

Yes, you will still be able to view Page Likes in CrowdTangle. Our default view in Intelligence and across CrowdTangle will be for Followers, however. Just select Page Likes in the ‘Follower Type’ drop down menu at the top of the Intelligence graph.

You can change the default setting back to Page Likes in your dashboard settings. This will affect leaderboards, the API, and measurements such as interaction rate.

Why is the line representing Follower growth 2 different opacities?

The transparent line represents Follower data that is incomplete and does not include either unfollows or when a Page follows another page. The solid line represents data that is complete and up to date.

How accurate is the Page Follower data represented by the transparent line, given that it’s incomplete?

Accuracy varies between Pages. However, unfollows and Page-to-Page follows represent a very small percentage of the overall Follower count. The variation generally ranges between than 1-2 percent of total Followers.

Will you be using Followers to measure Interaction Rate going forward?

Yes, Follower count has replaced Likes as our default way to measure Page growth. Interaction rate will now be calculated using Followers.

How will this impact the subscriberCount property in the API?

The subscriberCount property will be informed by a different underlying dataset depending on the selection you make in your dashboard settings. You can select either Page Likes or Followers in your dashboard settings. If you make no change to your dashboard settings, subscriberCount by default will change from Page Likes to Followers. We advise that you stay with Followers for the most up-to-date numbers.

How will this Impact CSV Downloads?

CSVs will now show both Likes and Followers as two separate columns.

How far does Followers data go back?

Followers data goes back to August, 2017. If you look at historical data before 4 years ago, the number of Followers for a Page will be 0. To see data before then, you can use Likes to get a sense of a Page’s audience.

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