The latest viral hoax and scam spreading around Facebook is being fuelled by gullible Page owners who have allowed themselves to be hoodwinked because of their desire to promote their Pages further. Although there are a couple of versions, the message is the same, with the Page owners sending around an image message which instructs their Page fans how to ensure they see the Pages posts. This would be a good move, but unfortunately it just isn’t true, and is yet another hoax that people have fallen for.
The image below is probably the most popular of the ‘How to ensure you see our posts’ Facebook hoaxes. It starts by saying that people have been messaging to inform that they are not receiving the Pages posts in their news feed, with text such as “We’ve been getting messages that our posts are not showing up in some people’s news feeds. This will ensure that you see our posts.” Following that is a screenshot of the actual Facebook interface for a Page, instructing the Page fans where to click to resolve the issue.
On the surface, the information seems legitimate. Page owners may or may not have been receiving messages from their users, and it can certainly be the case that users are not seeing any of a Pages posts in their news feeds. Increasing the confusion is the fact that the screenshot image used is genuine, and there is an option for “Show in News Feed” under the Liked button.
The problem is when a user likes a Page, the “Show in News Feed” option is automatically selected. This will not become unselected unless a user specifically takes action to change it. We have personally confirmed this by checking many of the Pages on our accounts, and for the Pages we have not seen any news feed activity for probably over 1 year, the “Show in News Feed” option is always selected. In fact, all of our Pages were set in this way except for a couple which we deliberately unselected.
As mentioned previously, the claim that some people will not be seeing a Pages posts in their news feed is absolutely true, but the reason given in this hoax is totally false. The true culprit is Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, which is what really determines whether you see or don’t see a Pages posts in your news feed. This is based solely on interactivity, so if a user fails to interact with a Page, such as clicking to view, liking, or commenting on their posts, then after some time that Pages posts will vanish from their news feed.
This is precisely why in our testing we found many Pages that weren’t coming in our news feeds, and these were the pages we didn’t interact with. The same thing will happen with your friends on your friends list. If you don’t click to view, like, or comment on their posts, they will also slowly be removed from your news feed. Its all about getting the most relevant content to you, as it is not viable for Facebook to show every single post from all of your friends, pages, and groups. Besides, who wants to keep seeing horse posts from that friend who is obsessed with horses?
Message to Facebook Page Owners: Research information before blindly sending it around. If you truly have fans who contact you about not seeing your posts in their news feeds, then instead inform them to interact with your page in the abovementioned manner. This is truly the only way to resolve the issue.