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Facebook Limiting Posts Warning – ‘This is a Test’

by Brett M. Christensen

Outline

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. 

Brief Analysis

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.

Examples

Facebook test 1

 

Facebook test 2

 

Facebook test 3

 

 

Detailed Analysis

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.

Importance Notice

After considerable thought and with an ache in my heart, I have decided that the time has come to close down the Hoax-Slayer website.

These days, the site does not generate enough revenue to cover expenses, and I do not have the financial resources to sustain it going forward.

Moreover, I now work long hours in a full-time and physically taxing job, so maintaining and managing the website and publishing new material has become difficult for me.

And finally, after 18 years of writing about scams and hoaxes, I feel that it is time for me to take my fingers off the keyboard and focus on other projects and pastimes.

When I first started Hoax-Slayer, I never dreamed that I would still be working on the project all these years later or that it would become such an important part of my life. It's been a fantastic and engaging experience and one that I will always treasure.

I hope that my work over the years has helped to make the Internet a little safer and thwarted the activities of at least a few scammers and malicious pranksters.

A Big Thank You

I would also like to thank all of those wonderful people who have supported the project by sharing information from the site, contributing examples of scams and hoaxes, offering suggestions, donating funds, or helping behind the scenes.

I would especially like to thank David White for his tireless contribution to the Hoax-Slayer Facebook Page over many years. David's support has been invaluable, and I can not thank him enough.

Closing Date

Hoax-Slayer will still be around for a few weeks while I wind things down. The site will go offline on May 31, 2021. While I will not be publishing any new posts, you can still access existing material on the site until the date of closure.

Thank you, one and all!

Brett Christensen,
Hoax-Slayer