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Facebook Share Count Glitch Highlights Publishers' Reliance On Social Network Data

Online publishers and developers were surprised in recent weeks when Facebook appeared to cut off access to information they use to help gauge the performance of content across the social network, according to a Wall Street Journal report. "Data wasn't being received from Facebook’s 'Graph API' feature, which publishers use to help understand how links to articles are being distributed and engaged with across Facebook. Some publishers also use the information to display a counter on their website pages that shows the number of shares links to their articles, videos and other content receive across Facebook." The Journal contacted Facebook about the publishers' concerns, and Facebook said the "halted data was an unintended glitch, introduced as part of an update on Aug. 8 to 'application programming interface' [API] technology, through which Facebook shares data with third-party developers and publishers."

Facebook said it enacted a change "that impacted the way a handful of third-party services deliver share count data to publishers. A fix is currently underway to ensure any affected developers can continue retrieving share count data as they had before,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. .."

The article continued, "Many publishers and media companies now rely heavily on Facebook to distribute links to their content, and the glitch was a reminder of how much they rely on the social network for information about how it performs. Without data from Facebook, they have little insight into how their website content is being shared across the social network, and whether it is resonating with readers and viewers."

Read the whole story at Wall Street Journal »

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