We like to stay on top of our social media channels; considering how important they are to Internet marketing, it’s worth watching changes like a hawk. Facebook in particular is crucial, given that it’s one of the major social media giants.
If you’ve had your eagle eyes on recently, you might have noticed some new referral sources from Facebook cropping up in your analytics: L.Facebook.com and LM.Facebook.com. Intrigued yet? If you’re not, you might be more intrigued by the fact that nobody knows exactly what these sites are.
What Do We Know?
Experts guess that the two new Facebook URLs started to appear around April 5th, and were minimal until around the 7th, when they started to take off significantly. Here’s what else we know:
- The majority of visits from l.facebook.com are desktop based. There are some people who appear to be on tablets. Most interestingly, however, there are nearly zero mobile visitors coming from this new URL. Even sites that have primarily mobile traffic will not see this mirrored in l.facebook.com traffic.
- Users tend to be split between new and returning visitors. This is consistent with overall site traffic in many sites, so it’s nothing particularly remarkable.
- The demographics overall are consistent with general site traffic. If your website mostly targets young males, your traffic from the new URLs is also likely to be mostly young males. This ensures the new URLs are able to send over quality visitors.
What Don’t We Know?
Well, we don’t know anything else about it, unfortunately. There’s a lot of speculation on the internet regarding these new URLs, but there’s nothing concrete to be found on Google, and Facebook hasn’t mentioned anything yet.
The most plausible explanation is that it’s somehow related to shared logins. For those that aren’t in the know, a shared login is when a site allows a user to login using their social media information. Many sites do this to simplify access for consumers since it doesn’t require them to create an entirely new account.
While your site may not have social logins, the new URLs could plausibly be the result of a visitor coming through a third-party website that does allow social logins.
You can give the new URLs a whirl yourself, if you like. We found that when we visited l.facebook.com we were simply redirected to facebook.com, and when we went to lm.facebook.com we were redirected to Facebook’s mobile site.
We’re still waiting for official word on what the new URLs are so we can figure out how to best work with these new referral sources. In the meantime, what do you think the new URLs are?