Posting to Facebook: Truth About Third Party Applications | DigitalNext: A Blog on Emerging Media and Technology – Advertising Age

A service called EdgeRank Checker revealed data this week that showed how using a third-party application — like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck — to update your Facebook Page decreases your engagement per fan (on average) by about 70%.

As you can imagine, the data was reported widely, tweeted, shared and taken by many as gospel. This post aims to shed more light on what’s really going on.

The EdgeRank Checker study looked at 1 million status updates on 50,000 pages that influence more than 1 billion fans, and concluded that third-party tools hurt your EdgeRank score.

EdgeRank is Facebook’s algorithm that tries to separate the signal from the noise to present each user with the most interesting content. It uses engagement as a primary factor in its weighting. A post that receives little or no engagement does not get through to the feed. High engagement increases the post’s visibility in users’ feeds and increases the Page’s EdgeRank score. For more on EdgeRank, check out this great post on Econsultancy from last month.

The company behind the data speculated that there are four potential reasons for the lower engagement:

  • Facebook penalizes third-party API’s EdgeRank
  • Facebook collapses third-party API updates
  • Scheduled or automated posts have potential for lower engagement
  • The content is not optimized for Facebook

Read more @ Posting to Facebook: Truth About Third Party Applications | Advertising Age.