It’s been recently rumoured that Facebook will be removing the ‘People Talking About This’ (PTAT) metric on June 19.  PTAT has traditionally been used as an engagement indicator, demonstrating the number of Facebook Users who are creating stories in their friend’s Newsfeeds when they interact with Page postings, such as via Liking or commenting.

This engagement measure is particularly useful for gauging the level of interaction and interest audiences are having with posted content. However if Facebook is replacing this with more detailed insights, this can significantly improve a Page manager’s ability to monitor the engagement success of a Page.

Currently, these metrics are providing an arbitrary indicator as to overall user interaction. Much more useful would be a breakdown of the PTAT metric into more quantifiable statistics in order to pinpoint the types of ‘Talking About This’  that users are doing. Sure, it’s great that PTAT can tell whether a user is engaging with the Page or posts generally, but even better would be some detail on what and how this engagement was generated.  Did it come from Likes on a photo? Was it because certain content was successful at stimulating user discussion? Was it a particular piece of content, or is it a certain type that is proving more popular?

Knowing this, Page moderators can make better, data informed decisions on how, what and when to post on their Facebook Pages, and thereby assist with maintaining the interest of audiences and generating further Page traction and growth. You can never know too much about how your audience is engaging with you, especially if you’re trying to sustain and increase this engagement. So if Facebook is indeed replacing the ‘PTAT’ metric in favour of some more detailed, easy to use means of analysis, it will definitely be something to talk about.