Does Using a 3rd Party API Decrease Your Engagement Per Post?

[Updated: 12/01/11 11:25AM ET] // We did a very preliminary study now that Facebook has changed the news feed and has been made aware of a particularly important bug. We outlined our findings here: Did Facebook Really Fix The 3rd Party API Penalty?. At a preliminary glance, it appears that from an Impressions perspective, 3rd Party APIs may have regained equal value. //

[Updated: 11/10/11 6:45PM ET] // Facebook has reportedly adjusted EdgeRank to reduce the negative effect of posting as a 3rd Party API. In effect, this validates our findings while hopefully removing the negative impact that 3rd Party platforms were experiencing. We will be following up on this information to test if Pages are actually experiencing this change. //

It’s been a general consensus in the EdgeRank community that 3rd party APIs (this simple list provides examples of potential 3rd Party APIs) are punished in Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm. We ran a study across our entire data set to provide evidence that our hypothesis is true. The result of our study was quite eye opening. Using a 3rd party API to update your Facebook Page decreases your likelihood of engagement per fan (on average) by about 80%. Continue reading