The Impact of Facebook Shutting Down its Analytics API on Marketers

Facebook Analytics is a free tool that allows one to access and understand the engagement metrics and user interactions with their website, Facebook page, app, or other supported event sources.

The Facebook analytics tool that can be accessed via browser or mobile app is used to view aggregated demographic information, like age and gender, how different groups of people interact with the website, audience preferences, or events across multiple channels.

However, recent declaration from Facebook conveys that the Facebook Analytics tool (which was a free tool from Facebook) will cease functions and would not be available after June 30, 2021. Reports, charts, and insights would be accessible until then. Advertisers, developers, businesses, or admins using Facebook Analytics have been advised to export their data into a CSV file from the desktop. In order to do so, they can click the arrow sign in the top-right corner of each chart or table, to store an offline copy.

Alternative tools advertisers can use to track their growth, engagement, and monetization activities on Facebook and Instagram once FB Analytics goes away include the Facebook Business Suite, Ads Manager and Events Manager. Considering how marketers rely on Facebook Analytics to measure conversion data, this announcement has comeat a decidedly short notice.

What are Facebook Analytics?

Facebook launched Facebook Analytics many years ago, after, as most social media marketing consultants believe, taking a cue from Google Analytics. Facebook hoped to take off as a cross-device measurement solution, but it was never widely adopted.

The main purpose of Facebook insights was to connect data from a Facebook page with data coming from the Facebook pixel in order to show the full conversion path between what happens on Facebook and Instagram – a comment on a post, for example – and an eventual purchase in an app or on a website down the line. Users could also create funnels, cohorts, overlap charts, and other data visualizations to get different slices and views that demonstrate how people interact across platforms tied to their on – Facebook and Instagram interactions.

Facebook Analytics – Current Situation for Marketers

Most developers greatly prefer robust analytics tools, such as Amplitude or Mixpanel. Top marketing agencies used Facebook analytics usually just to get a sense of the information Facebook has easy access to that developers don’t always have, like the age and gender of their users.

Data has recently become more difficult to track using any tool – with or without Facebook Analytics. This is because of a new update from iOS – the iOS 14 – which asks users whether or not they want to be tracked by apps on their phone.

If a user says that he does not want the Facebook app to track them, then it’s not possible for marketers to get the same conversion data from the user as they previously could.

Facebook analytics has always been a nice-to-have feature rather than an essential feature. Most developers currently use it as an additional tool to get insights about demographics, but it is not a potential replacement for product analytics.

Why is Facebook Suddenly Shutting Down Facebook Analytics Tool?

The fact that Facebook analytics is going away can be linked to Facebook taking action to sweep away its measurement cobwebs in advance of Apple’s soon-to-hit iOS 14 privacy changes. Shutting down the tool completely the easier option rather than adapting these tools to the new privacy paradigm. While the loss of Facebook Analytics is not likely to cause much of a stir in and of itself, but the retirement of this tool is evidence that the macro privacy-related changes that are likely hastening its demise are still – and will continue to be – very much in play.

There is a section of marketers who are going to miss Facebook Analytics when it is gone. For these marketers, a number of similar options are available in the market that can get their work done. 

Substitutes for Facebook Analytics

Substitutes for Facebook Analytics

Here are few free tools from Facebook and otherkey resources that can be substituted for Facebook Analytics:

  • Facebook Business Suite

Facebook Business Suite helps manage Facebook and Instagram business accounts and comprehensive insights about the audience, content, and trends.

  • Ads Manager

Ads manager tool helps measure the effectiveness of ad campaigns on Facebook across multiple metrics, and view the results of Facebook campaigns, ad sets, and ads.

  • Events Manager

Events manager comprises business tools such as the Facebook pixel and Conversions API. Apart from its main functions, this tool also reports actions taken on a website, an app, and also in the physical shop.

If marketers can adapt to using a combination of the above tools they may be able to accomplish the same tasks they’re used to getting done in Facebook Analytics. Facebook Analytics is used to connect data from a Facebook page with data from the Facebook pixel. When the data is connected, Analytics can show a conversion path between a customer engaging with a business’s content and eventually making a purchase off of Facebook.

Facebook has long held a tight grip on what data advertisers can and cannot access. Now as it is pulling some of the reins away from social media vendors as it is shuttering its Audience Insight API at the same time. Facebook is now focusing on making Business Suite its go to app for accessing important information, and is therefore trying to comply with the new privacy laws and restrictions.