Circulating Facebook message claims that Facebook is limiting Page posts so that no more than 7% of people see them. The message, which bills itself as a test, asks users to like the message and comment ‘yes’ to ensure that more people see the Page’s posts.
The message does contain elements of truth. Facebook uses a very complex algorithm to filter the amount of material you see from your friends and Pages you have liked simply because there is so much material posted. If everything was posted, your Facebook feed would likely be overwhelmed with information, much of which you might not be interested in. Pages that regularly post interesting content that people engage with will likely have better post reach. However, begging users to interact with a silly ‘test’ message is not a viable long-term method for Page owners to increase post reach.
This circulating message, which promotes itself as a ‘test’, claims that Facebook is now limiting the reach of Page posts so that no more than 7% of friends see them. To combat this problem, the Page’s ‘Admin Team’ asks people via the ‘test’ to first add the comment ‘yes’ and then like the message. According to the message, participating in the test as instructed will increase the Page’s ranking and ensure that more people see the Page’s posts.
The message does contain elements of truth, although such ‘tests’ are certainly not a practical or sensible way of increasing Page reach and user interaction. And the post significantly oversimplifies a quite complex issue.
Let’s be clear from the outset. Facebook certainly does limit the material you get to see on your feed. Not everything posted by your friends or by Facebook Pages that you have liked will make it to your Facebook feed. Why? Because, if every message posted by your friends or by Pages that you have liked appeared on your feed, it would soon be overloaded with information and be difficult or impossible to effectively negotiate. And, many of these posts may be about topics that you are simply not interested in. Furthermore, with more and more material being posted, competition for feed space is increasing.
To counter this potential information overload problem, Facebook has implemented a very complex algorithm that filters the posts you see based on a large number of factors. It is true that the less you interact with a friend’s or Page’s posts, the less likely future posts from that friend or Page will make it to your feed.
For example, you may have liked and commented on a Page at a particular time because you were interested in a specific topic being discussed. However, you may not have been interested in further material posted on the Page. So, you no longer made comments or liked posts. Facebook’s filtering algorithm takes this lack of interaction into consideration. However, many other considerations are also used to determine if a Page’s posts appear on your news feed or not.
Moreover, many Page managers have reported that the previous reach of their posts has decreased significantly in recent months. This has caused a great deal of concern and resentment, especially for small enterprises that have worked hard to built up a Facebook presence over time only to see their hard-earned reach nosedive. Many commentators are suggesting that Facebook is pushing Page owners to use paid advertising to reach more of their followers.
Thus, it is perhaps understandable that some Page managers have resorted to tactics such as this rather inane ‘test’ post. But, alas, sending out such a test post begging for user interaction is unlikely to help Page owners regain reach in the long term. Such shallow attempts to manipulate Facebook’s filtering algorithm are doomed to failure. And, the post comes across as a little desperate and needy and it could well irritate people to the point that they unlike the Page instead of participating. Perhaps the best thing Page owners can do is regularly post interesting and engaging content and roll with the punches.