Is Facebook’s News Feed just limited to 26 friends for you? If you’ve seen a text meme going around claiming this, then be assured that this is false. Facebook’s News Feed algorithm is not limiting what you see to just posts from 26 friends. The social media giant has even issued a long post debunking the claim, which has been incidentally shared extensively on the network.
The meme claims that “Facebook’s ‘new algorithm’ is limiting the number of people whose posts show up in your News Feed, usually pegging the number at just 25 or 26 people.”
The meme further instructs users that they should comment on the post and thus ‘bypass the system’, to ensure that their posts show up in the future. Users are also asked to then copy and paste the text on their own Feeds, which is very common with some of these viral and totally fake claims.
One example of the meme is as follows
How to avoid hearing from the same 26 FB friends and nobody else:
Here is a post explaining why we don’t see all posts from our friends….
News feed 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 choose for myself, Therefore, I ask you a favor: 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 and instead I don’t need facebook to choose my friends!
Do not hesitate to copy and paste on your wall so you can have more interaction with all your contacts and bypass the system. That’s why we don’t see all posts from our friends!
According to Facebook, this meme has been debunked by various new organisations as well, including the Washington Post. Still people are convinced this is true. The company says it does not have a limit on the number of people whose posts are shown in your News Feed.
According to Ramya Sethuraman, a product manager who works on ranking and is quoted in the blog post, “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.”
Facebook has said added that the News Feed algorithms prioritise posts that are predicted to spark conversations among people. This could be because of the format, for instance, the company says Live videos tend to see more discussions. Or because the posts are shared by people, groups or Pages that the user interacts with more frequently.
It adds that because of this, the 26 friends theory might seem plausible, but this is not true as one scrolls further down and will see posts from a wider group of people.
The post also notes that there is a truth to the argument that you might see more posts from friends who you interact more with on Facebook. If a user frequently trades comments with a friend, their posts are likely to be shown higher in the News Feed than posts from someone you never interact with.
Facebook says they will continue to build new controls so that people can directly tell them what they want to prioritise, take a break from or get rid of. There’s also the See First feature to put a particular person’s posts at the top of the Feed. The News Feed also has options for unfollowing or snoozing content from someone for 30 days.