A viral Facebook post is making the rounds again and cluttering everyone’s newsfeed. The post claims by copying and pasting it onto your own timeline and by commenting, liking or leaving a sticker on the friend’s post, it will trick Facebook’s algorithm into showing you posts of more friends.
Here’s one variation of the post: “So I’m doing what everyone else is doing. Fixing my blocked posts. I wondered where everybody had been! This is good to know. It’s ridiculous to have 578 friends and only 25 are allowed to see posts. I ignored the post earlier because I didn’t think it worked. It WORKS!! I have a whole new newsfeed. I’m seeing posts from people I haven’t seen in years.”
Does it work? No. Well…in a way, I suppose it does. Contrary to what the post claims, Facebook does not limit the number of friends whose posts show up on your newsfeed. Its algorithm does place some friend’s posts higher than others based on friends you’ve interacted with the most. It also places posts of friends who have friends or interests in common. This is to prevent posts from groups, pages, and friends you never interact with from clogging up your feed.
You can have some control of who you see the most. It’s easier to make these changes on a computer than it is on a mobile device. Go to settings and look for newsfeed preferences. There you’ll see your friends and those you follow.
It also displays friends you’ve chosen to see posts first by placing a blue star next to their name and profile photo. You can manage the list by removing and adding blue stars. Facebook does limit the number of friends here to 30, which may be where the number comes from in the viral post.
If you want to see the most recent posts in your newsfeed, look for “newsfeed options” and click or tap “most recent.” Note though that this reverts back to “top posts” later.
The viral post making the rounds now first appeared at least 3 years ago and seems to go around every now and then when a few friends decide to post and share it again. It is not a scam and the post does not steal your information, data or friends list. It is a hoax, again sort of.
Whether you post it or not will likely not change who you see in your newsfeed. By commenting or leaving a like or sticker, it will ensure you see more of their posts. But you were seeing them anyway.