If you’re friends with Margarita Noriega on Facebook, it’s likely you saw a status update this week announcing some “personal news” that calls for a big “congratulations!”
No she’s not having a “new baby” and she’s not “engaged” or “married.” She also isn’t taking a “new job.” But because she mentioned all of those phrases in her update, Noriega’s Facebook status has been headlining the top of her friends’ Newsfeeds for four straight days.
Take a look.
The status reads:
Guys, I have big personal news about my family and friends! Congratulations! Facebook may or may not show you this post. But keywords like baby, marriage, “I’m engaged!” and “new job” might end up at the top of your feed. So I’m testing it out!!!
The post currently has 163 ‘likes’ on it, and Taylor Lorenz, head of social media at The Daily Mail, tweeted that the update has been at the top of her Newsfeed for 4 days.
The reason? You can probably guess. Noriega used key words like “job” “baby” and “marriage” — words that are found in so many of the updates we see on Facebook everyday, updates that make us feel like Facebook exists solely to inform us that all of our friends are more successful and happier than we are.
It’s also about the amount of comments the post receieved, Lorenz told Business Insider.
“The status continued to appear in people’s feeds, people commented on the status, and that would push it to the top of more people’s feeds,” Lorenz explained. “It creates a feedback loop.”
Business Insider talked to Noriega, director of social media at Fusion, who said she wanted to “test the idea of keywords boosting something in search.”
“I did not believe it was true that you could use keywords and it would put you at the top of people’s feeds,” Noriega admitted. “I thought people were just exaggerating. Originally the post was private, but after so many people took screenshots of it, I made it public. But I made it private originally because it was a private test.”
What did you hope the outcome would be?
I hoped the outcome would be that a handful of my friends in media who are also friends with me on Facebook would see it. It was a joke only someone who works in social media would make. But I certainly did not do it with any intention of it taking over anyone’s feed. I respect people’s real lives.
Are you surprised it’s still at the top of the feed 4 days later?
I am totally surprised! It’s crazy.
Did most of the likes come in right away or did they come in over time?
They mostly came the first 24 hours.
Have you ever written an important status that you had hoped would reach your network but didn’t because it didn’t have ‘buzzwords’?
Absolutely not. If anything, I tend to “lurk” and like other people’s posts on Facebook. I’m an introvert. I tend not to know what to say about myself, even to my friends.
Do you think this is smart on Facebook’s part?
Sentiment analysis is a myth. I don’t think any company should use it. I’m sad to see that Facebook’s feed is apparently so dependent on it.