Do personal announcements get more reach on Facebook?

Facebook users in search of more popularity have found a new way to trick its algorithm. Some users are now posting fake engagement and relationship announcements in their posts to get more recognition on the social media network.

Facebook has a policy – they don’t show each and every post to everyone on your friend’s list and feed. Instead, the company has an opaque algorithm system that selects a subset of people to share your posts with.

In simple terminology, this means that a majority of uninteresting posts (e.g. your cute kittens and backyard views) are often left out in the digital air.

To get around this process, some Facebook users are adding words and phrases like ‘getting married’ and ‘having a baby’ to their posts. This makes the algorithms believe that the posts are about a life-changing event and prioritizes them as important milestone.

Interestingly, the hack has been used for years. It was initially found in 2014 by the then-director of Fusion who stuck words like ‘congratulations’ and ‘new job’ in a post. The result – his post appeared on top of his friend’s newsfeed and remained there for days.

Since then, the method is being used by the many Facebookers who often use this method to reach a wider audience.
An example of engagement bait post on Facebook
Screenshot: Digitalinformationworld.

In fact, several users took to Twitter and remarked that they used the same method to trick more people to help them in their specific causes.

When contacted, a Facebook spokesperson did not respond to the request of clarification on the tactic.

Facebookers can adjust their News Feed preferences if they are annoyed by some friends who post such time-wasting content.

Read next: Facebook Experiments With Shop Style Feeds

Hat Tip: Rob Price / BI
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