That statistic, which users will see on Pages below the total number of “Likes,” will be one of four tracked by Pages Insights. The idea is that users will understand a Page with a high People Talking About rating is one that has compelling content. Likewise, content creators will be motivated to make their Pages more comment-worthy.
People Talking About (that might not be the final name for the metric; at press time, Facebook wasn’t sure) will measure user-initiated activity related to a Page, including posting to a Page’s Wall, “liking,” commenting, sharing a Page post or content on the Page, answering a Question posed to fans, mentioning a Page, “liking” or sharing a deal or checking in at your Place.
The other metrics, which are designed for administrators of brand and media Pages, include “Likes,” “Friends of Fans” and “Weekly Total Reach.” While “Likes” is self-explanatory, Friends of Fans is the actual number of friends your fans have, and weekly total reach is designed to be an accurate assessment of how many total people have posted something about your Page, how many news organizations (within Facebook) have referenced it and how much viral distribution elements of your Page has gotten.
David Baser, product manager for Pages Insights, says that despite a raft of new activities that Facebook will be introducing soon under the Facebook Gestures banner, those four metrics will remain and the “Like” will maintain its ranking as a top measurement. “Likes are an expression of identity,” Baser says. “It’s a user saying that I have a relationship with this brand.”
In addition to tracking the four metrics, Pages Insights will also offer a deeper dive into data around specific updates. Facebook will list your last 500 posts (the company began tracking them in July) and count the total number of engaged users, People Talking About it and virality. The latter measures the percentage of users who commented on the post.
Sentiment, however, will not be part of the calculation. Whether a user is lauding a comment or trashing it, it will count the same.