Facebook Introduces Page Tagging

The world’s most popular social media application has introduced a networking aide that allows pages to be included in the Facebook feeds of pages that it mentions. This new tagging feature is intended to help visitors to a particular page more easily find other related pages. For example if a Facebook user visits the Seattle Seahawk’s Facebook page, they may find a number of fan sites which include references to the football team’s page.

While this may appear to be a helpful feature for many of the millions of Facebook users, there is some skepticism about the move from industry analysts. Criticism is focused on the ability of spammers to piggyback on the popularity of certain pages and, thereby, artificially inflate their own ranking. Many organizations seeking an illegitimate advantage through tagging need only reference a popular page to generate additional traffic.

Facebook has responded to this criticism by stating that only the most relevant pages will appear in the news feeds of pages. The organization has told news sources that it will use a variety of criteria like the number of clicks, likes, comments and shares to determine which pages truly enhance the Facebook user experience.

On the other hand, critics have argued that merely granting authenticity by the number of likes or shares could stoke the activity of buying likes. Facebook is already facing an epidemic of paid likes which are usually facilitated by fake users from foreign countries like the Philippines and Malaysia. The practice of buying likes has already harmed the value of Facebook advertising because fake users must like hundreds or even thousands of pages in addition to the target sites, in order to evade identification as a spammer.

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So far, this new feature has not been used widely by the spammer community. In fact, the majority of Facebook users have approved of the new feature as it helps them find pages that are related to their search query. This has also met with approval from webmasters who create pages. They feel that the page tagging feature enables more people to find and enjoy their content.

The actual mechanics of page tagging require that a post or comment refer to another page. Tagging cannot refer to a person, because according to Facebook guidelines pages cannot have friends. Users may, of course, refer to other users in posts and comments in the Timeline of a particular page. Once a page is tagged, the page’s owner will receive a notification.

Once a page is referenced by a tagging page, then the news feeds that include info about that referenced page may soon include a piece about the tagging page. So, if a page about Seattle Seahawks fan gear references the main Seahawks page and has the requisite number of likes and comments to satisfy Facebook’s authentication algorithm, it may begin to appear in the news feeds of users who are fans of the Seahawk’s main page.

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