Search Engine Optimization - 18 Apr 2019
The Never-Ending Myth: Facebook Limits Your News Feed to 26 Friends
A persistent viral Facebook post has been making the rounds for years now, claiming that the News Feed is restricting what you see to just 26 friends. We now know that the myth has been debunked right away, every time, by Facebook, but it seems that people forget and keep buying the hoax again and again.
2019 has been no exception, and this time the post came in a meme form…again. It claims, in substance, that Facebook has executed an algorithm setting that means you will only see posts from a chosen few of your friends. Anyone else “Can’t sit with you.”People kept copying and posting the meme, in the form of a block of text, to bypass a limit that doesn’t exist. The meme encourages users to fight this by copying and pasting the faux-informative report about the “change” and then requesting users’ friends to reply to the post.
The message usually goes something like this:
“Newsfeed recently shows only posts from the same few people, about 25, repeatedly the same, because Facebook has a new algorithm.
Their system chooses the people to read Your post. However, I would like to decide for myself. Therefore, I ask you a favour: if you read this message leave me a quick comment, a “hello,” a sticker, whatever you want, so you will appear in my news feed.
Don’t just “Like,” Facebook requires a “Comment.” Even one word! Thanks!!!
Otherwise, Facebook chooses who to show me instead, I don’t need Facebook to pick my friends!”
On February 6, 2019, the social network even published a blog post about the copy-and-paste meme, suggesting at its continued circulation a year later.
“The idea that News Feed only shows you posts from a set number of friends is a myth,” product manager Ramya Sethuraman wrote in the blog entry. “The goal of News Feed is to show you the posts that matter to you, so that you have an enjoyable experience. If we somehow blocked you from seeing content from everyone but a small set of your friends, odds are you wouldn’t return.”
The problem is that by the time a tricked user realizes it’s total deceit, it’s too late and they’ve already copy-pasted it, and shared it with their friends, letting it continue running viral beyond the social network.
Although, the persistence of the “26 friends” myth is understandable, that’s because the posts in your newsfeed are sorted in the order they believe you’ll be most interested in seeing them. The News Feed algorithms prioritize posts that are predicted to spark communications among people, whether because of format or because the posts were shared by people, groups, or pages you interact with frequently.
Because of this, it’s likely that you’ll see content from a similar list of people at the top of your news feed, which can make the “26 friends” idea seem likely. If you scroll down, though, you’re likely to see posts from an even larger group of people.
If you want to make sure you see everything from a particular person or page, you can use the ‘See First’ feature to put them at the top of your feed.
The latest official statement from Facebook says that the company it’s continuing to build new ways for people to control what they see on Facebook.