How to Game Facebook’s News Feed with Keywords (Until the Next Algorithm Update)

By David Cohen 

MargaritaNoriegaStatusUpdate650Margarita Noriega, director of social media at Fusion, decided to see if the inclusion of several keywords in a status update would propel it to the top of her friends’ News Feeds, and it worked.

Business Insider reported that Noriega posted the following status update, which had tallied 168 likes at the time of this post, and which The Daily Mail head of social media Taylor Lorenz reported had been atop her News Feed for four days:

Guys, I have big personal news about my family and friends! Congratulations! Facebook may or may not show you this post. But keywords like baby, marriage, “I’m engaged!” and “new job” might end up at the top of your feed. So I’m testing it out!!!

Lorenz told Business Insider:

The status continued to appear in people’s feeds, people commented on the status, and that would push it to the top of more people’s feeds. It creates a feedback loop.

And Noriega told Business Insider:

I did not believe it was true that you could use keywords and it would put you at the top of people’s feeds. I thought people were just exaggerating. Originally, the post was private, but after so many people took screenshots of it, I made it public. But I made it private originally because it was a private test.

I hoped the outcome would be that a handful of my friends in media who are also friends with me on Facebook would see it. It was a joke only someone who works in social media would make. But I certainly did not do it with any intention of it taking over anyone’s feed. I respect people’s real lives.

Sentiment analysis is a myth. I don’t think any company should use it. I’m sad to see that Facebook’s feed is apparently so dependent on it.

Readers: Did any of this surprise you?