Facebook Algorithm

Facebook uses a certain algorithm to determine where and what posts appear on each individual user’s newsfeed. The algorithm can be understood as the sum of actions; each action is made up of affinity, weight and time decay. An action is considered to be anything that happens on Facebook – literally anything. Facebook algorithm takes these Facebook actions and ranks them based on the importance to the user. Objects with the highest Facebook algorithm “score”, if you will, will show up at the top of the News Feed. Sounds a little confusing, so let’s break it down.

  • Affinity: Measures the relationship between the viewing user and the creator of the post. The closer the relationship, the higher the score. This is one way Affinity is measured. If you, user A, interact with user B’s posts, you will see their content more often, but they won’t necessarily see your content more frequently.
  • Weight: Different types of posts carry different rates. In order, they rank 1.) Photos/videos 2.) Links and 3.) Plain text updates. Engagement is also a factor in the post’s weight. More engagement on a post the greater the weight, and it becomes more visible. However, the amount of complaints or negative feedback also has an effect. The more negative feedback a post has, the less likely you are to see that post.
  • Decay: Posts continually lose value as they grow older. This way, the content on your News Feed stays fresh.

The higher the score for these three variables, the more important Facebook feels that object is to the user; therefore, it will be higher on the News Feed. By improving the size of your network and the frequency of their engagement with your content, you will simultaneously be improving your Facebook algorithm score.

The variables in which Facebook uses to determine News Feed content changes, but affinity, weight and decay are three main principles of the algorithm. The most recent addition to the algorithm is content on the News Feed that looks like spammy or considered click-bait. It is suggested to make sure your post or headline gives enough information to the reader to decide whether they want to read the article or not. If your post or headline is vague, it will be harder for it to be seen on the News Feed.

Why is it important?

It’s important to have a good Facebook algorithm score for two reasons: people are more engaged with the News Feed, and the News Feed is a competitive space.

In 2012, 40% of all time spent on Facebook was in the News Feed. In the US, people spend more time on the Facebook News Feed than ABC, MSNBC, Yahoo! News, CNN, New York Times and Huffington Post combined.  Since approximately 96% of fans don’t go back to a brand’s Facebook page after the initial engagement, your post is 40-150 times more likely to reach your fans through their News Feeds than your page.

You can check your current Facebook algorithm score, and see where your page needs improvement.  And don’t forget to call Robertson & Markowitz Advertising and Public Relations if you need help improving your content and increasing your Facebook algorithm score.