Facebook's elusive algorithm, the one that makes some posts super visible and others seemingly invisible, is something most Facebook users might never understand. But behind most far-reaching posts is at least one subtle but important factor everyone can grasp: good timing.

It's hardly a revolutionary thought: Fewer people will see the picture you share of your new puppy if you post it in the middle of the night when most of your friends are asleep. It could do just fine, as far the number of likes, shares and comments go. But it will probably do much better if you are willing to wait until the optimal time to post it.

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It turns out that time exists, according to a new study conducted by Klout, a website that measures reach and influence on social media. As part of the study, the researchers analysed more than 25 million Facebook posts, as well as over 100 million reactions to them.


What they found is that posting things at certain times of the day (late morning and early afternoons) and on certain days of the week (Tuesdays and Wednesday, most notable) tends to coerce more engagement from friends. The ideal time, however, does change slightly depending on where you live.

In New York, for instance, the ideal time to share things is just before noon. Thereafter, engagement falls consistently until it reaches its lowest point at about 3 a.m. In San Francisco the optimal time to post things is a bit early (between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.); in London, early afternoon is best; in Paris, there's a peak in the morning, and then again in the afternoon; and in Tokyo, early morning (between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.) is ideal, but the fallout thereafter is much less severe. The Japanese, it seems, are happy to like, share, and comment on posts well into the night.