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How does Facebook decide what you see on your News Feed?

Have you ever wondered why you only see content from 10 brand pages on your News Feed even though you’re following tons of them?  If you use Facebook on a daily basis, one thing that you might want to understand is the Facebook algorithm.

In this blog, we would like to help you understand how your Facebook posts get viewed on Facebook. Hence, we’re collecting all the important Facebook algorithm factors and changes and placing them here for easy reference.

like

Pc: Raqan

Starting with – What is Facebook’s Objective?

Facebook’s number one objective is to connect people and to select the most relevant and engaging stories to show in the News Feed.  As quoted by Mark Zuckerberg “We built Facebook to help people stay connected and bring us closer together with the people that matter to us”

Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook wants to show the best content out of the several thousand pieces of content that could appear in your News Feed every day, and put those post in the first few sloths that you will actually browse through within a day.

These posts get ranked and shown in order of importance, from big stuff like your friends’ wedding, or Memes that 10 of your friends are commenting on, to your favourite brand content that you interact with often.

The more engaging the content, the more you’re likely to come back to Facebook and it can better accomplish its mission of connecting people while also earning revenues from ads.

facebook algorithm

Pc: Venturawebdesign

So how exactly does the Facebook algorithm work in 2018?

Below are a few top factors that Facebook’s algorithm takes into consideration when deciding what to show on your feed –

1. Comments

In his recent announcement, Zuckerberg quoted, “Pages making posts that people generally don’t react to or comment on could see the biggest decreases in distribution. Pages whose posts prompt conversations between friends will see less of an effect.”

This means you are most likely to see content from the friends and pages you interact with.

2. Reactions

If you take the time to hit the “love” icon vs. the “like” icon, that content will receive a minor boost in the News Feed. The same goes for all Facebook’s reactions. Facebook wants to see those “active” emotions.

3. Comment replies

The latest algorithm not only favours comments but also replies that are present in the comments. This signifies that a piece of content on the internet is encouraging conversations with people.

4. Sharing content over Messenger to a group of friends

Messenger plays an important role too in this procedure. It directly increases the chances to see one of the posts by that person on your wall.

5. Engagement on shares

While sharing a post is a pretty “active” interaction compared to most, Facebook has gone one step further. Simply getting shares is not enough. It is important to get share and engagement on that share to be prioritized in the algorithm.

News Feed Algorithm

Pc: Thedigiterati

The Facebook algorithm loves these things…

  • Posts that contain lots of Likes, comments, and shares
  • Posts which are Liked, commented on, or shared by one’s friends
  • Post types of similar content that one interacts with
  • Post unique content that users seem to prefer more than others (e.g., photo, video, or status update)
  • Videos uploaded to Facebook that receives a large number of engagement that includes views or extended viewing duration
  • Posts should be trendy and timed perfectly or reference to a trending topic
  • Posts from Pages that one interacts with often

Other Facebook News Feed ranking signals

Average time spent on content: the average amount of time a user spends engaging with or viewing a post

When it’s posted: This is an indirect signal because it means that your post is more likely to get engagement if you post it at a time that users are likely to be online.

Pc: Sotrender

How informative the post is: In 2016 the Facebook tweaked its algorithm to highlight “informative posts”.But, the term “informative” is based on a survey of users’ personal interpretation. For some users “informative” could mean “news”, while for others it could mean recipes or celebrity gossip. It’s still not clear if that definition has changed since the recent 2018 update.

Essential? Why can’t Facebook just show me an unfiltered feed?

According to Facebook, the results would be overwhelming.  Facebook engineer Lars Backstrom wrote in a blog post “Every time someone visits news feed there are on average 1,500 potential stories from friends, people they follow and pages for them to see, and the for majority of the people don’t have enough time to see them all.

“With so many stories, there is a good chance people would miss something they wanted to see if we displayed a continuous, unranked stream of information.”

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Pc: Brandwatch

Over to you.

It sure is an exciting time in the world of Facebook!

I truly think that the recent changes that were made in the Facebook algorithm are a good update for both brands and users in the long run.

Now that we know how this works it is a perfect time to hone in on your Facebook strategy and work to develop meaningful content and an engaged community. With given time and patience, I am sure you will continue to find success with your Page.

I’d love to hear any thoughts or questions you might have, and looking forward to answering them.

Feel free to drop us a comment below anytime.

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