Unmetric Unearths Historical Facebook Data
August 8, 2014 • 2 min read
Updated on September 18, 2019
When a user adds a previously unmonitored brand to the Unmetric platform, we start collecting the page data from scratch. The user has a lot of data to look forward to but not much data to work with to get started. This has always a bit of a bugbear to us, not to mention an inconvenience to our users who might need historical data for a report.
Now, after weeks of serious coding and a small Caribbean island’s worth of Java coffee, Unmetric is excited to announce a brand new app feature (drum roll…) Historical Facebook Data! Right now, we have data going back to January 2012 for over 6,000 brands. This includes page posts and metrics such as country specific distribution of fans, estimated total fans and estimated people talking about this (PTAT).
Under the Overview tab, you’ll find out how far back a brand’s data is available. For instance, Wired Magazine now has data available from Jan 2, 2012, even though we added the page to the platform just a few months back.
OK, So How Did We Get This Data?
A little bit of voodoo, a little bit of magic and a helpful conversation with the Zuck. None of this was used. You see, historical data from the Facebook API is restricted to the country specific distribution of fans/ PTAT across the top performing countries of a brand. Historical data on the total number of fans and PTAT are not publicly available. So, how did we get the total number of fans and PTAT?
(Take a deep breath)
We first observed each brand for 1-2 months in real time. We tracked the total number of fans and country specific distribution of fans for the brand on all of those days. Using these numbers, we were then able to discover a key relationship – how the top performing countries in a brand’s country specific distribution of fans / PTAT influenced the total number of fans. Applying this relationship to the brand’s historical country specific fan / PTAT numbers from the Facebook API, we were able to statistically estimate historical fan / PTAT data for over 6,000 brands.
Simple, huh? Basically we applied our famous superawesomificator data analysis and out popped the result.
What Will This Data Do For Me?
Users can now get historical data back to January 2012 for any new brand when it is added to the platform. Users can also view estimated historical fan and PTAT numbers in the fan growth graph for a broader range of fan data.
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