Truth is, it’s really not a huge change. But it does call into question Facebook’s motivation for the shutdown… and makes us wonder what it might mean for what they have in store for the next few months.
Why This is a Big Deal… And, Really, Why It’s Not
When Facebook announced Analytics as a new tool for commerce accounts at their F8 conference in 2017, it was promised as a new way to track and follow your progress on Facebook, the app lifespan will just barely crack 4 years from launch to this new shutdown.
At the time of launch, this was a pretty big deal for Facebook - the Analytics tool finally consolidated important commerce metrics like User Journeys, Audience Cohorts, and cross-device performance using semi-real time engagement metrics all under one roof.
By throwing in the towel on Analytics, Facebook is sending mixed messages about how they want businesses to use the tools they offer.
That said, there’s still a lot of speculation over what tools might be incoming to fill the gap left by Analytics.
What You Can Do To Stay Ahead When Analytics Is Gone
Obviously, this isn’t the end of all analytics on Facebook - just the end of this specific tool. If you’re like many (ok, let’s be honest: the majority) of small business users, you probably never used the Analytics tool anyway
That said, monitoring your analytics and engagement metrics on Facebook is a smart idea. Fortunately, there are still plenty of ways to do just that.
Alternative Tools to Keep Up Your Facebook Analytics Game
Even with Facebook Analytics saying goodbye, the big blue ‘Book still has plenty of tools available to monitor your pages’ progress… as long as you know where to look, and how to make sense of it all.
- Facebook Business Suite - This is a new(ish) tool being rolled out by Facebook for 2021, and it’s being billed as a fresh, all-in-one application for tracking, managing, and optimizing your social strategy on Facebook. Available as a mobile app and on desktop for some users right now, it is definitely a tool worth checking out.
- Ads Reporting and Ads Manager - While these two tools might be similar, they each offer a pretty nuanced overview of your Facebook Ads performance. As long as you understand the difference between them, that is.
- Events Manager - If you’ve set up a Facebook presence for a business in the last, oh, 10 years, you already know about Events Manager. This is the tool that’s crucial for connecting your website with your Facebook account, and it’s where you manage everything from custom Ad events to the all-important website pixel.
- Third-Party Tools (like Buffer) - Like any good agency, we use a variety of reporting and social media monitoring tools to cover our clients. That said, some of these tools might actually feature enough reporting data to keep you on the right track.
It’s Not A Huge Change - But It Could Be A Vision of More Changes Ahead
What does it say about the state of Facebook today that they’re willing to cast off a tool that was—let’s face it—a centerpiece of their offerings for businesses just a few years ago?
The good news: Facebook still offers plenty of native tools to help you keep an eye on your metrics, your engagement, and your progress on their suite of apps.
The bad news: while Facebook Analytics itself might have been a bit of a non-starter, this move likely signals big things to come from Facebook in the future.
For one thing, it means Facebook is thinking a lot about a changing digital landscape. Between Google’s move away from cookies, to the new changes incoming with Apple’s iOS 14 (and the headaches that has already caused for Facebook advertisers), there’s definitely going to be a lot to consider when it comes to using Facebook effectively in the 2020s.
If you’re a business or advertiser, you need to be prepared… and know how to pivot when big changes like this come down the pike.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. If you need a hand getting a better understanding of what this all means (and what you can do to stay on top), we’d love to chat.
- Conor Snell
- Social Media & Content Strategist