LinkedIn’s ‘commenting for reach’ response faces growing backlash

If you reply to someone’s LinkedIn post by simply writing “comment for outreach,” are you really accomplishing anything?

On social media platforms, algorithms factor in the number of comments below a post—as well as other forms of engagement, such as likes and impressions—when deciding how much to share it. Some users try to game the system and help others get more exposure by simply writing in the comments section, “Comment for reach” or “comment for better reach”

It signals a knowledge that knows how the system works. Or at least that’s what some users think. LinkedIn, like other social networks, is secretive about how its algorithm works.

On LinkedIn owned by Microsoft, users focus on professional networking and career development, posting all kinds of articles related to the workplace. With recent layoffs in the tech industry, posts about sudden unemployment—and availability in the job market—have gotten a lot of attention of late.

Earlier in his month, luck reported on LinkedIn users who write about their sad layoffs—and sometimes see their posts go viral—are in marked contrast to the shame and secrecy that often surrounded layoffs in the past. Among them is Nikita Kulkarni, who late last year lost his interior design job at Instagram, owned by Meta. He noted in his post that he “misses his teammates dearly,” and asked users to get in touch if they know of any suitable open positions.

While many comments were seen as heartfelt praise, and some vouched for his expertise, others simply said, “Comment for better reach.”

It is possible that such responses helped to juice the algorithm and improve the post. But they risk being untrue, and not everyone is sold on the idea, including LinkedIn users who talked to Wall Street Journal.

“‘Commenting for reach’ turns us all into dribbling robots at the feet of the algorithm,” Olivia Nelson, who works in Atlanta for the education technology company Screencastify, told Journal. He added that introducing the job seeker to a hiring person would be more helpful.

Brian Collins, head of sales at a software company in Chicago, told the Journal that leaving “even an emoji is better. It means that you are sitting there and you are thinking about the emotion you felt when you read the post, you looked at a large set of emojis and you found the right one.

LinkedIn isn’t the only platform with “commenting for reach” responses, but it seems to be the most well-known for them. As one Twitter users just wrote in reply, “Comment for better reach. Can I be more LinkedIn-ish?”

luck LinkedIn was contacted for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

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