Excuse the rather spammy title. This caught my eye today – some academic research into how companies can game Facebook Likes to beef up their social stats. It reminded me of something I discovered about Facebook Likes when putting together this piece about social share counts – there’s a fairly ridiculously simple way to game the system and create infinite (note: I have not tested this theory to infinity) Likes on any page.
It’s taking advantage of the fact that Facebook counts any interaction on a post as a “Like” in their social widget – so by creating a bunch of interaction you can bump that number up. The research mentioned above concerns people “Liking” Facebook pages, which is slightly different and a metric companies can pay to boost – hence the outrage. The fact that holes in the Liking system are so easy to come by is certainly concerning though, given it’s become something of a currency online these days.
My scam goes like this – choose the page you want to promote and post it to Facebook but (assuming you want to hide your nefarious Like-gaming) set the privacy to “Only me”.
Post the post, like it, and comment on it. Every time you comment on it the count on the page will increase by one. Here’s the count for this post:
And here’s what I’ve been getting up to on my Facebook page: