This is a great question that was asked by one of our members from our community, Digital Stars.
Not strictly business, but as I share my business posts on to my personal timeline, it’s relevant to me. This is doing the rounds a lot at the moment. Every now and then, similar things crop up. Is there any reality attached to it? So many of my friends are sharing it.
The message doing the rounds on Facebook normally reads
‘This is good to know: It’s ridiculous to have lots of friends and only 25 are allowed to see my post.
I ignored this post earlier, but It WORKS!! I have a whole new news feed. I’m seeing posts from people I haven’t seen in years.
Here’s how to bypass the system FB now has in place that limits posts on your news feed.
Their new algorithm chooses the same few people – about 25 – who will read your posts. Therefore,
Hold your finger down anywhere in this post and “copy” will pop up. Click “copy”. Then go your page, start a new post and put your finger anywhere in the blank field. “Paste” will pop up and click paste.
This will bypass the system.
If you are reading this message, do me a favor and leave me a quick comment…a “hello,” a sticker, whatever you want, so you will appear in my newsfeed! It WORKS!!done”‘
As with all good stories, it has its roots in fact – and is then distorted by folks who want to make it sound more impressive than it is.
So, yes, Facebook selects content for you to see, and it does this – in part – based on what content you interact with, and how you interact with it.
Let’s break down the message to take a look at what it’s saying –
“I ignored this post earlier, but It WORKS!!”
So they’re posting *this* message in order to instigate the change – but they know it already works? Unless Doctor Who wrote this, their logic is flawed. [If you’re unfamiliar with Doctor Who, this reference won’t make much sense. Suffice it to say the Doctor is a time travelling character.)
“Their new algorithm chooses the same few people – about 25 – who will read your posts.”
It’s not new, the advent of algorithmic flow dates back to the now oversimplified EdgeRank days. The algorithm doesn’t actually dictate who sees your content, but more what content potential is shown to each user (the emphasis is wrong – it’s not for you as the poster of content to decide, but to the recipient).
“Hold your finger down anywhere in this post and “copy” will pop up. Click “copy”. Then go your page, start a new post and put your finger anywhere in the blank field. “Paste” will pop up and click paste.”
This is a good definition/guide on how to copy and paste on a smart device, but that’s it. It will *do*
“This will bypass the system.”
No, no it won’t.
“If you are reading this message, do me a favor and leave me a quick comment…a “hello,” a sticker, whatever you want, so you will appear in my newsfeed!”
Interesting, this is the first bit that actually made any sense. If you can ‘trick’ a bunch of your friends (or followers – as this would work equally as ‘well’ on a Facebook Page) to leave a comment on your post, then this would raise a flag (we call this signal allocation). It’s a signal to say ‘recipient X’ is engaged with content from ‘poster Y’. When more content is posted by the poster, there’s an increased likelihood that the content will be shown to the recipient (based on the fact that they commented on the previous post).
So I know what you’re probably thinking, why is the recipient not shown all the content in the first place, right?
Well, we all have X number of friends and follow X number of Pages and belong to X number of Groups and all that jazz – so the average person is going to exposed to ~1,500 posts per day if the unfettered chasm of the Facebook timeline were allowed to just….’be’.
So, we need something in order to make sure that the content we’re exposed to as users is the stuff we’re more likely to want to see.
Think about it though, we do this all the time with Nectar cards (loyalty cards) – you get offers for the stuff you actually buy – not random shit you don’t want.
Amazon will recommend products based on what you look at and/or purchase – not just any of the catalogue of stuff they hold.
Facebook is doing the same thing – it’s changing the timeline to show you what it believes you want to see – but it’s not making it up – it’s using YOUR behaviour to make this decision (plus some wicked-cool machine learning in there). So if you don’t like the content you’re seeing on your timeline – that’s on you; you made it.
If you keep seeing content from people you don’t care about, stop liking, reacting angrily or commenting etc. on it.
The point here is –
a) Doing the above will do nothing except trick a few people to comment “hello” on your post.
b) It’s approaching algorithmic flow from the wrong side of the equation.
c) This is a chain letter.
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