What’s the age of a Facebook page? ‘Joined’ vs ‘No more posts to show’


I’ve been posting for the last few months a bunch of data which attempts to compare the performance of Facebook pages in the Swedish higher education sector (here, for example). It’s been bugging me that I did not have a date for the creation of the Facebook pages I look at. Well, I took a deep breath and scrolled through every wall hoping to get a date for when the page was created. Unfortunately, it does not seem to be so simple; the final entry for each page can either be the helpful ‘ XXXX joined Facebook’ or the more enigmatic ‘No more posts to show’. I also added some UK university pages to the data.

Here’s what I got:

The second and third columns are the date of the first post on the wall, after the message ‘XXX joined Facebook’ or ‘No more posts to show’ i.e. as far back as you can scroll down (if you know what I mean).

Page Name Joined No more posts to show
Karolinska Institutet May 2010
Högskolan Väst June 2009
BTH officiell September 2010
KTH August 2009
Högskolan i Halmstad June 2009
Högskolan Dalarna March 2010
Högskolan Kristianstad June 2009
Karlstads Universitet February 2010
Uppsala University November 2010
Mälardalans Högskola October 2010
Jönköping University August 2009
SLU March 2010
Uppsala universitet March 2009
Malmö Högskola June 2010
Lunds Universitet June 2010
Lund University August 2010
Högskolan i Borås April 2008
Linköping Universitet May 2010
Linne Universitet December 2009
Umeå universitet November 2009
Malmö University September 2010
Skovde February 2011
Stockholm University February 2009
Umeå University November 2009
Chalmers University of technology April 2010
Stockholm school of economics April 2009
Royal Institute of Art October 2010
Stockholm’s universitet September 2009
Cambridge March 2008
Oxford May 2010
Warwick June 2009
Bath September 2009
Bristol
York January 2008
Sussex April 2009
Leeds June 2011
Northumbria May 2008
Plymouth March 2008
Plymouth II June 2011
Brighton
Bradford June 2011
Sunderland May 2008
Worcester June 2010
London South Bank August 2009
Keele University December 2007

My suspicion is that the ‘no more posts to show’ message is the same as when the page joined Facebook, but it would be great to confirm this.

A desperate cry for help 

The interweb is surprisingly coy about establishing the age of Facebook pages so I wonder if you can help? If you’re the owner of one of these pages it would be awesome if you could check the date your page was created and then add it in a comment on this post. If you can’t remember that momentous day, then you’ll be able to get it from your insights data. I’d be very grateful, and it would make these data much more robust and hopefully more useful to Facebook heroes like yourself. Bang your date in the comments below and, when I have enough data, I’ll write a new post with the results. I’ll also make sure you’re top of the list when I get around to sending out a white paper about these data and the use of Facebook in Higher Education.

Why is this important?

The number of friends is a fairly weak metric for assessing Facebook success. But, if we want to give it any teeth then comparing it with our peers/competitors pages becomes more robust if we know when their pages were created. That way we can get a rough idea of whether our page’s growth is ‘runaway train give me a pay-rise’ or more ‘damp firework lying in a puddle’ stagnation.

I also think that it would be neat to know exactly how many posts one can see, particularly if you want to go back to an older conversation.

And another thing. The next load of analysis of comments will include a comparison with the UK universities mentioned above, as another way to bench mark the performance of the Swedish Facebook pages analysed here.

Comments: If you leave a comment (and thanks if you do!) it may not appear straight away; looks like the wordpress spam filter is being super sensitive; I’ll keep an eye on the inbox and make sure your post appears here soon as.

13 thoughts on “What’s the age of a Facebook page? ‘Joined’ vs ‘No more posts to show’

  1. Awesome – Umeå university got in touch and confirmed that the ‘no more posts to show’ date was indeed when they created their page – be great if you’re the page owner of one of the other pages and also comment on the data. Thanks Umeå!

  2. For KTH first post would be shortly after the page was created. But posting was done for a while before the page went public. And the page wasn’t officially promoted until December 2010.

  3. Hi John
    I thought it was pretty difficult to establish when we started Stockholm University’s (English) Facebook page – despite the fact that I started it! The first activity I can find using Facebook’s buggy statistics tool is a “like” on Thursday 30 October 2008, though the page probably existed earlier than this. The Facebook tool shows me stats back to Monday 25 February 2008 and no further, irrespective of which days I choose. This may or may not indicate that the page was created on that day. Note also that the tool was updated sometime during the past year or so which may also affect how available information is.

    It’s seems to be easier to find when one joined Facebook as a user. I joined on September 22, 2007 at 18:26 apparently – if the app in question can be trusted.

    Hope that helps! We’ll get back to you about our Swedish Facebook page.

  4. Hi John! Our page is approximately as old as the first post. But we kept on posting for a while before we made it public so we wouldn’t publish an empty wall. The official release of the page wasn’t until December 2010 though.

  5. Pingback: Swedish University Facebook Pages – Monthly Review – Part I: Friends « University Usability

  6. Linköpings universitet started their Facebook page in april 2009. At first it was only connected to our RSS feed from our web, but since october 2009 we have had actual people working with it.

    • Hi Anna, Many thanks for getting in touch with that information. I’ll be posting about the results of this soon.

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