UPDATED: Facebook’s PTAT disappearance was a coding flaw

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There were rumors swirling earlier that Facebook would scrap the popular people talking about this (PTAT) metric, and several people noticed that the PTAT number, located next to like totals, is gone from their page.

However, Facebook told Inside Facebook that this was just a coding mistake and the company is working on getting PTAT back on pages:

There was a technical issue that caused PTAT not to show up for some Pages, but that’s being fixed as we speak.

When it was believed that Facebook was ending PTAT, Facebook marketing expert Dennis Yu, the CEO of BlitzMetrics, told Inside Facebook that this is a good move:

PTAT was an all-in-one metric that skewed for new fan growth and advertising. So it makes sense that now we can separate into LCS (likes, comments, and shares) and post clicks (clicks that are not LCS).  Then brands don’t get preoccupied with a single, highly gameable metric.

We predict less silly cat photos and more engagement from now on. Because PTAT gave equal weighting to activity, brands had an incentive to drive likes on posts, meaning superficial content.

Good move by Facebook to drive deeper interactions. We hope to see loyalty metrics soon.

Readers: What do you think?

dennisDennis Yu has helped brands grow and measure their Facebook presences. He has spoken at Search Marketing Expo, Search Engine Strategies, Web 2.0, The American Marketing Association, PubCon, Conversational Commerce Conference, Pacific Conferences, HostingCon, Affiliate Summit, Affiliate Convention, UltraLight Startups, MIVA Merchant, and other venues. Yu has also counseled the Federal Trade Commission on privacy issues for social networks. Yu has held leadership positions at Yahoo and American Airlines. His educational background is finance and economics from Southern Methodist University and London School of Economics.

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