Facebook Analytics 101: People Talking About This (PTAT)
Definition: People Talking About This (PTAT)
PTAT is the number of unique people who have created a story about your page. A story is created whenever someone:
- Likes your Page
- Likes, comments on, or shares your Page post
- Answers a question you’ve asked
- Responds to your event
- Mentions your Page
- Tags your Page in a photo
- Checks into or recommends your Place
When someone on Facebook does any of the above on your page, they automatically create a new story in the news feed about your page. Their friends now have the potential to see this new story in the news feed.
Here’s an example. When Joe likes the Fuki Sushi page, his friends might see the following story in the news feed.
This enables Fuki Sushi to get more exposure virally through Joe’s friends.
PTAT is a valuable metric because it tells you how many people are performing these kinds of actions with your page and creating new stories in the news feed.
The creation of a story is an active form of engagement versus more passive forms of engagement that do not generate a new story in the news feed such as viewing a photo, playing a video or clicking on a link.
PTAT vs Stories Created
PTAT and Stories Created are related but slightly different.
Let’s say somebody on Facebook first likes your page and then comments on a post. She has effectively created 2 stories about your page, but she is still only 1 person talking about your page.
PTAT measures unique people. Stories Created does not measure unique people, but rather the total number of actions.
In the above 2 graphs, we can see that the average number of stories created is 1,220.60 per day, and the average number of people talking about the page is 1,139.30. Some people have created more than 1 story about the page.
As we can see, both of these metrics are valuable for marketers to analyze.
Why Measure PTAT?
PTAT is the standard engagement metric that’s publicly displayed on all Facebook pages.
In the above example, the PTAT is 3,493 people.
This public PTAT value refers to the number of people who have created a story about the page during the last 7 days.
Through Facebook’s API we can also determine the PTAT for other time periods such as 1 day or 28 days.
Since PTAT during the past 7 days is publicly available for all Facebook pages, it has become an apples-to-apples comparison for marketers who want to compare the engagement of different Facebook pages.
PTAT as a measure of engagement has received a lot of negative feedback from social marketers because it’s a compound metric that’s easy to manipulate with Facebook ads.
In response, Facebook removed PTAT from it’s Facebook Insights product, but it’s still publicly displayed on all Facebook pages and the data is still available from the Facebook API.
PTAT in Crowdbabble
Even with the controversy surrounding PTAT, many marketers still use it to measure engagement. So we’ve kept the PTAT reports intact within Crowdbabble.