By Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook Product Manager

Journalists use Facebook to share news as it happens and provide analysis to deepen the reader’s connection with their work. By implementing the Author Tag on their websites, publishers can make it easy for Facebook readers to start following the author of an article they just read and enjoyed. This is a web development tool that connects the byline in a story preview in the News Feed to the writer’s Page or Profile with Follow.

Melissa Korn Follow

How the Author Tag Works

The connection between byline and Page or Profile is created after a person clicks through a web article posted to Facebook. When the reader returns to News Feed after reading the article, the story preview will display a Follow button at the bottom of the News Feed unit for journalists with Facebook Profiles and a Like button for journalists with Facebook Pages. A text link to the author’s profile or Page is displayed as well. People who click on the Follow or Like button will start receiving updates from the author’s Profile or Page.

Ezra Klein Like

Audience Development for Journalists

In addition to making it easier for people to follow the author of an article, Author Tags help journalists connect immediately with the readers who are most engaged and interested in his or her work and grow their following on Facebook. Journalists can then build deeper relationships with their Facebook followers by engaging directly in conversations, holding Q&As, and sharing behind-the-scenes content.

Simple Implementation

The Author Tag is an easy lift for news organizations who have yet to adopt it; only one additional line of code in the header tag of the page is needed to implement the tag site-wide. Developers can find documentation on the article:author metatag here. Journalists who manage a Facebook Profile will need to ensure “follow” is turned on on their profile. Journalists who manage a Facebook Page do not need to take any additional action steps. The Author Tags are opt-in and the Follow and Like buttons will currently display in the desktop version of Facebook.

People use Facebook every day to discover what’s going on in the world. The Author Tag helps connect those people to the stories and journalists that best inform and entertain them.