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QR Codes and Facebook Top News

Can QR codes help your blog posts and unique content appear in Facebook's Top News feeds? It's time to experiment.

Recently, The Daily Beast published an article that speculated how Facebook selects posts to display in Top News feeds. They figured that images weighed more than links. At the same time, I was having a conversation with a coworker about using QR codes effectively. These two ideas merged together in my head and I tried a little experiment.

When I posted my last blog post, I published a standard Wordpress link to that entry, but I also created a QR code that redirected to that entry as well. It would be nigh impossible for me to track which posts appeared in my 500+ friends’ Top News feeds; however, if we judge time spent in Top News by comments and likes, the QR code appears to have spent more time in Top News: the QR code had three comments and one like, while the standard link received two comments and one like.

However, even those numbers are misleading. The comments posted on the standard link were from family members, who have a higher chance of commenting and shouldn't necessarily be factored into Top News exposure--after all, they were probably looking for that post since they knew about it ahead of time. The comments and like on the QR code, conversely, were all from friends and acquaintances.

Besides giving Facebook users an alternate way to access content, there is a number of exciting ways to use QR codes outside of Facebook. For instance, one inventive way to integrate QR codes into blog posts is to position them as a way for users to take your content on the go; this could potentially work well for longer blog posts. And as QR codes become more popular, more and more interesting ways to use QR codes will appear. As for now, it appears that posting QR codes on Facebook could potentially increase awareness of content.