George Takei is basically the prom queen of Facebook, and you probably see several shares from his very well-considered Facebook posts each day in your own feed.
And recently, like many of us (including over at the Inquisitr), George Takei has noticed a marked decrease in interaction among his Facebook fans. Like all of us, Takei probably cried a little bit, ate some chocolate ice cream straight from the container and argued with James about it a little bit. But then he mentioned the issue to his fans, repeating a rumor that has been circulating among Facebook pages in recent weeks:
“FB used to allow fans to elect to see ALL posts by selecting “All Updates” from the right hand corner of a post. For community pages such as this, though, FB recently decided that only certain fans will see certain posts, and it plans to ask me to pay for more fan views.”
“I understand that FB has to make money, especially now that it is public, but in my view this development turns the notion of “fans” on its head. So I encourage all friends and fans to visit my page regularly to make sure they share in all the fun.”
Takei later updated, with a possible “fix” to the problem that has kept everyone awake at night wondering, “why, why did they not like my medical marijuana op-ed?” as we sob into our iPhone screens:
“Fans have helped solve the problem! …to ensure you see ALL my posts (and not just what FB decides you can see), here is a clever work-around that leverages the ‘Interests’ and ‘lists’ feature to ensure news stream visibility. Take one minute to do this:
“Click MORE on the bottom left menu on your home screen… In the INTERESTS section, click ‘Add Interests’ …Click “Create List” …Click on my face… Click the NEXT button… Name the list ‘Oh Myyy’ or ‘George Takei’ or whatever. (Set the list to ‘Public’ so friends get to share the fun!)”
Takei adds that doing that “should bring us all closer together, without me having to pay FB to reach more fans” before thanking his followers. But one of those followers happens to be a Facebook employee. And the plot thickens! Oh myyy!
The fan contacted George to say that the problem he (and we) seem to be encountering is not due to any changes to Facebook. According to the Facebook employee, increased content and not a pay-for-play initiative is the reason some of your Facebook content isn’t reaching you lately:
“I work at FB and even work on the product you describe, and I wanted to drop a note to say that we’ve changed NOTHING about the way page posts are delivered to fans… The main point of confusion we’ve seen is that pages don’t realize that their posts were never reaching 100% of fans. If you go to your page insights, you’ll see this has always been the case.”
The unnamed Facebook employee continues:
“And it makes sense if you stop and think about it: there is just no way to see all of the stuff happening on FB in your feed. Personally, I have over 700 friends and have probably fanned 1000s of pages, there is no way I can see all of their posts in my feed everyday. Fortunately, FB does a pretty good job ranking content based on the people and pages I interact with the most. So naturally, George Takei and Taco Bell are usually at the top of my feed :)”
So… mystery solved? The video below was linked by Takei and originally by the fan, and explains how the “promoted posts” feature works. Have you noticed a difference in how Facebook presents content to you recently?