Are Facebook Posts Penalized by Using Third-Party Tools?

By Mikal E. Belicove|For|September 15, 2011

If your goal is to boost engagement on your Facebook Page, you might not want to invite a third-party API (application programming interface) to your online get together.

Using third-party tools like Hootsuite, Sendible, Shoutlet and Postling to schedule and post content to your Facebook Page can actually decrease your likes and comments by 80 percent, according to a recent study conducted by Applum, a Port Orange, Fl.-based web development firm that developed a Web app called EdgeRank Checker, an algorithm that ranks such things in the Facebook News Feed.

Applum contends that Facebook punishes users of third-party APIs by killing their EdgeRank, which incidentally is also Facebook’s name for an algorithm that powers its News Feed to display relevant content. And since Facebook Pages with high EdgeRank scores are more likely to show up in the Facebook News Feed than those with low scores, it does appear that Facebook is being punitive in this regard.

But before we get to the results of this study, there are two things you can derive from the Applum report: First off, you should keep in mind that EdgeRank Applum has a dog in this fight. Secondly, it wouldn’t be at all wise to write off third-party APIs just yet.

In the study, Applum looked at the number of Likes and comments that were attached to the million or so updates offered on more than 50,000 Pages, which carry sway over more than one billion fans. The company found that those using third-party APIs experienced a…

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