20130305-155725.jpg Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) of the New York Times wrote this last weekend that he’s seen engagement drop on the posts he shares on Facebook. Bilton wondered if advertisements and promoted posts were pushing other posts aside in a user’s News Feed.

But as reported by Eliza Kern (@elizakern) of GigaOm, Facebook came back on Monday in a post entitled Fact Check and warned users not to take one person’s anecdotes too seriously and explained how its algorithms work.

There have been recent claims suggesting that our News Feed algorithm suppresses organic distribution of posts in favor of paid posts in order to increase our revenue. This is not true. We want to clear up any misconceptions by explaining how the News Feed algorithm works.


News Feed shows the most relevant stories from your friends, people you follow and Pages you are connected to. In fact, the News Feed algorithm is separate from the advertising algorithm in that we don’t replace the most engaging posts in News Feed with sponsored ones.

Facebook explained last November that the three most important factors that determine whether you’ll see a post in your Facebook feed are:

  • How you’ve reacted to the publisher in the past.
  • How other people have reacted to the publisher’s story.
  • How you’ve reacted to similar stories before.

So whether it’s you or Bilton, if your users stop engaging you by liking or commenting on your posts, your posts are less likely to show up in their newsfeeds.

As an aside, Facebook, in their Fact Check post, said engagement is up as to people who have turned the Follow feature on and overall engagement on posts from people with followers has gone up 34% year over year.

Bottom line for lawyers looking to build engagement on Facebook is that there will always be change in the Facebook algorithms — change is the nature of Facebook.

But more importantly, you need to engage others for them to see the things you share. Go figure — sounds a lot like networking and engaging others off line.

Share things of interest to others, they will very often be personal in nature. Comment on and like what other people are sharing and on items that interest you. Respond when others like your posts or comment on your posts by commenting back to their comment and liking the things they share.

Like building any relationships of trust and friendship you need to mix it up in a real and authentic fashion.