Facebook Changes Reach of Comments in News Feed

Facebook announced a modification to its algorithms that will have an effect on the reach of comments on a post. Comments that have specific quality signals will be highly ranked. Low quality comment practices might lead to less reach.


Comment Ranking in News Feeds


Facebook noted that not only are posts ranked in news feeds however comments also are ranked as well.
Posts with comments that have positive quality signals will be seen by more people. Posts with low quality signals will have their news feed reach reduced.


Facebook Comment-Quality Signals

Facebook noted that their updated comment algorithmic rule has four features:

  • Integrity signals
  • User indicated preferences
  • User interaction signals
  • Moderation signals.


Integrity Signals


Integrity Signals are a measure of authenticity. Comments that violate community standards or fall into engagement-bait are negative signals. Violations of community standards are said to be removed.


Engagement Bait

Facebook engagement bait is a practice that has four features:

  1. React baiting.
    Encouraging users to react to your post.
  2. Follow and Share baiting.
    This is described as telling visitors to like, share or subscribe.
  3. Comment baiting.
    Encouraging users to comment with a letter or number are given as examples.
  4. Monetization baiting.
    This is described as asking for “stars” in exchange for something else, which could include something trivial like “doing push-ups.”


User Indicated Preferences


This is a reference to user polls that Facebook conducts in order to understand what users say they want to see in comments.


User Interaction Signals


These are signals associated with whether users interact with a post.


Moderation Signals


This is a reference to how users hide or delete comments made in their posts.


Here is how Facebook describes it:

“People can moderate the comments on their post by hiding, deleting, or engaging with comments.
Ranking is on by default for Pages and people with a plenty of followers, however Pages and people with plenty of followers will choose to turn off comment ranking.
People who don’t have as many followers won’t have comment ranking turned on automatically since there are less comments overall, however any person will decide to enable comment ranking by going to their settings“.


Facebook Targeting low quality Comments


One of the stated goals of this update is to cover low quality posts from people’s Facebook feeds and to promote high quality posts by people you might know.


This is how Facebook described it:


“To improve relevance and quality, we’ll begin showing comments on public posts more prominently when:
The comments have interactions from the Page or person who originally posted; or The comments or reactions are from friends of the person who posted.”