“Using 3rd party Apps to post to Facebook decreases engagement by up to 70%.” This was one of the striking headlines a few weeks back that a study found.
And it was very understandable I believe. Facebook would not only collapse posts from the same App, but also decrease their visibility considerably. Another big issue was that a lot of “FB posts” from 3rd party apps actually looked just like Tweets.
What I found is that this can easily turn off users from engaging with the content.
Yet, things changed dramatically in the past few weeks. As Mark Zuckerberg announced in a recent statement, Facebook doesn’t care about getting more users. They want to be a platform with a healthy app eco-system.
Given his words, I naturally assumed that changes would follow that would benefit app usage more than it used to. And fortunately changes followed.
1 - Facebook changes their Edgerank algorithm
The first and foremost reason is Facebook’s change of their Edgerank algorithm that happened literally a few weeks ago. Matt Trainer, one of Facebook’s developer consultants announced that:
“…we recently made a fix that added more signals to detect good quality posting behavior. This should improve the situation with the distribution of posts coming from third-party apps in the News Feed.”
This is a huge heads up for everyone using 3rd party apps to post to their Facebook page. The biggest problem, namely that posts from Apps would be collected and then collapsed should now largely be solved.
This is also a very strong signal to embrace a Facebook App eco-system, similar to Twitter’s. Facebook always appeared more closed and possessive, yet this appears to change sharply.
2 - A smarter way to post to Facebook launches
Another great reason for you to give apps for posting to Facebook a go is the fact that Buffer just launched their Facebook version. This means that instead of timing posts individually to go out to your page or profile, you can drop them into your Buffer. From there, they will be posted for you at optimal times, well spaced out over the day.
As one of the key reasons that the app provides is picture and thumbnail preview. On top of this you are able to edit the preview text that comes next to the picture. Overall, the idea is to make the experience as personalised and focused on Facebook as possible.
3 - The Facebook subscribe Button changes the dynamics of posting frequency
Another point that I observed was that the recent introduction of the Facebook Subscribe button might change the dynamics of posting frequency considerably. Whilst before, posting at most once per day was an optimal posting frequency, this seems no longer to be the case.
This matters especially as Facebook’s Zuckerberg explained how posting and sharing is going to increase exponentially over time. In order to keep up with this trend, help from Apps is mostly needed.
I feel that the subscribe button makes Facebook more open in general, showing certain resemblances to Twitter. Due to this, one can also expect that posting frequency will increase, given you can build a following that is not based on mutual friendship.
Personally, I left my personal account and page mostly dormant. Yet knowing that using 3rd party Apps is no longer a danger I started to post much more frequently again.
It would be very interesting to hear what your experience has been with this. Have you seen a difference in the appearance of Facebook posts sent via apps in your stream? Have you tried posting via Apps to Facebook yourself yet?
Leo Widrich is the cofounder of BufferApp.com, a Twitter App that allows users to schedule tweets easier than other scheduling Apps you might know of. As he focuses on getting Buffer off the ground, Leo writes and gives Twitter Tips at blog.bufferapp.com. Leon loves to connect and build a relationship with new users. Don’t hesitate to say Hi.
Photo Credit: ansik