The Facebook Algorithm Explained and How to Work it

The Facebook newsfeed algorithm

Lesson Details:
January 21, 2020

Awesome guys welcome to three point three of my ultimate facebook success course I'm gonna go over something really important here which is the news feed algorithm so the ultimate goal for all business pages is to appear in as many people's newsfeeds as possible so Facebook have created a news feed algorithm which determines what appears on your newsfeed and in which order it will appear so when somebody visits their news feed they're on average fifteen hundred potential stories or edges as we call them from now on from Facebook friends events and pages to be displayed this is far too many for any one individual to scroll through fifteen hundred updates is a lot of updates the average amount of updates seen is just a little over 40 every time somebody Scrolls through their newsfeed so you have to get your content ranked in this top 40 the higher up the better in order to be seen by your fan so therefore having a thousand likes does not mean that your updates are gonna be seen by a thousand people because of course it is way too many to read so Facebook use their algorithms and decide what is displayed on your newsfeed and of course your fans newsfeed so it's important to understand the goal of algorithms before I break them down for you the goal of the algorithms have always been to find the content that you want to see the most or find the content that your fan wants to see the most so in 2004 Facebook used what they called knobs so Chris Cox the Facebook VP of products said in the beginning newsfeed ranking was just turning knobs if people said they wanted to see photos a little bit more or videos a little bit more all they do is turn up the value of the videos or the photos so they'd be seen more on the Facebook pages then came 2007 and Facebook employed what they called edge drink a drink is a relatively simple algorithm that remains the basic foundation of what is still used today so it's super important to understand these three elements so first the first major element is affinity score which is the connection strength of the relationship between the Facebook user and the Facebook page so if I like your page I then have an affinity score or a relationship score based on how much Facebook think that I want to see updates from your page the second factor is weight so the value of the edge type so we went through edge types earlier as in photo status video or photo album so each edge type was given a weight and whatever Facebook thought that people wanted to see more of that's what they displayed more of and that's what was given a heavier weight the last factor is time decay so the time since the edge was created so the value of the edge will dissipate over time and become weaker therefore the new and update is the more people will be likely to see it so let's break this down quickly individually so we get a comprehensive understanding so affinity score is a one-way relationship between the fan and the fan page it demonstrates how strong of a relationship a brand has with that individual fan affinity is strengthened by any interaction with a brand so actions such as viewing your fan page commenting liking sharing your edges clicking on your page and even messaging can impact the affinity that I have with your page so essentially Facebook I've made it so the more time or effort and action takes the more it'll increase my affinity with your page so say I comment on your page it takes more time and effort than simply clicking alike therefore it'll increase my friendly score by more so if you if you're interested in an affinity score is given a number between negative one and one so the weight is the value of the edge type so how variable is a type of edge meaning how much do people want to see this type of update in general wait is Facebook's value system in order to determine what type of edges want to be seen the most each type of edge has a different default weight for example images used to have a lot stronger weight than video did because Facebook think and thought images were more liked and valued by users Facebook could constantly altering the edge weights to reflect what they think the user most likely wants to see and what they're gonna engage with the most lastly time decay this is the simplest of all of the factors it is simply how long since the edge has been created displayed mathematically it is understood as one divided by at the time since action therefore the longer ago the action was the lower the number and the lower the value of the update this is because Facebook want the newsfeed to always show new and fresh content therefore as an edge ages it'll become less valuable so here are the three factors put together and of course the star is the optimal spot you want your edge to be so the strongest affinity or relationship with the fan the shortest amount of time posted ago and the strongest type of weight for that specific edge whatever that may be at the point in time that you're posting however in 2011 Facebook changed their algorithm it's no longer a basic three factor algorithm but Facebook of achi replaced EdgeRank with a machine learning based approach that takes into account about a hundred thousand factors yes that's that's correct it's a hundred thousand factors which is a lot more than the three they initially had so although affinity weight and time decay are still very important and I'm underlining that very because they are basically the foundation of this new algorithm so it's important that you do understand it if you didn't quite understand them please go back and make sure you do have that knowledge let's see what else are in the new algorithm so a few extra considerations I'll go through a few and then I'll focus and the ones that actually mean something so the relationship settings you can manually set strong relationships or acquaintance relationships with friends and pages so if you want to tell Facebook how close you are with a page they will show less or more of the updates depending on what you select there are also now categories and subcategories of affinity it's not just a one-way relationship score individual Facebook users also now have their own weight values depending on how much they've interacted with the edge type in the past instead of it being a general weight for everybody in the Facebook community each person now we'll get a tailored weight score depending on how much they've interacted with that specific edge so to put this in an example if Jimmy likes and comments on photos Nathalie often comments and likes links Jimmy will obviously have a higher edge weight for photos where Natalie will have a higher edge weight for links pretty straightforward here are a couple more crazy ones which I'll quickly touch on before I move on to the important ones so the type of device you are using will actually matter to what your newsfeed displays to you so Mobile's will show less videos because they're less optimized for that type of media so your internet connection speed actually factors in here too it'll help decide what files should be displayed so large files will be less likely to be displayed if you have a slower connection also clicking ads and looking at other people's timelines also affect the updates you see on your newsfeed in the future so they're all great and they were very interesting to know but the three changes that actually matter to us as a business page wanting more engagement from our fans and to be displayed higher up here are the three changes that actually matter that we can take advantage of the first is global interactions so here is a segment from a blog post from Facebook stating the number of likes shares and comments our post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular in particular will affect if you see this update or not so Facebook are attempting to measure how close each user is to friends and pages but the measurement isn't just based on personal interactions facebook now looks at global interactions too and those can outweigh the personal interactions if the signal is strong enough for example if you put out an update on your business page and my affinity is not strong enough to see it immediately in my newsfeed but I have three friends who also like your page who have liked and commented on your new update I am therefore much more likely to see this new update because Facebook have seen my friends find it valuable and therefore think I find a valuable even more than this if the users are not my friends but the global interactions of your fan base as a whole is high Facebook will see that content as valuable and be more likely to show it to your fans that you have less affinity with so here's a quote from Facebook if we show an update to a hundred users but only a couple of them interact with it we may not show it to you in your newsfeed but if a lot of people are interacting with it we might decide to show it to you too so there are examples of how your newsfeed can be impacted positively by global interactions but it can also be impacted negatively by users who ignore hide or mark the post as spam limits the amount of people that that update will reach I've put together a quick diagram to help fully understand this concept because it is very valuable to know so here is an example Facebook update so your Facebook page puts out a Facebook update Facebook decide to show it to a hundred people so this is a sample of fans so just 100 people in sampled data based on the interactions that these hundred people give your update Facebook will analyze these results and either promote or demote your edge say if 13 people liked your new edge 13 people is a lot out of 100 so Facebook and most likely to show it to more people so then they get a new sample data of 200 people because they feel that the edge is variable a lot of people interacting with it and a lot more people deserve to see it they increase this number based on this second sample data depending on how many people engage like comment and share with it and even click on it they will either promote it again to maybe four or five hundred people depending on how many people actually interact with it or they may demote it Facebook calculated to be less valuable than they initially thought they will demote it and then run on a new sample size of the original amount just to make sure that they're only sending out valuable content to the most people so I hope that makes sense here is the is a here's a bigger overview of the same theory here is zero percent of your fans and here is 100 as your update is tested by the first sample size you could get demoted and shunda less and less people or you can get promoted if you keep getting promoted you're gonna be displayed to more and more people because obviously your update is valuable and you can reach a maximum of 70 or sometimes and really rare gas in really rare cases eighty percent of your fans at once the more valuable your content the further it will go as soon as it starts getting less interaction you will slip down the ladder showing two less and less people so that is global interaction number two is story bumping story bumping bends the decay rules by giving older unseen posts a second chance at newsfeed visibility if they're still getting interaction so story bumping literally bends the rules of time decay so instead of being fully chronological if somebody posts an 8 a.m. status and it is still getting interaction later in the day say 10 a.m. it'll still be ranked higher than some 9 a.m. statuses that are getting less interaction because again Facebook will see this as valuable content and let it be seen by more people thirdly last actor last actor considers an individual's 50 most recent Facebook interactions and uses them to help rank posts in an individual's newsfeed so essentially a very large amount of weight is given to the last 50 actions of any user for example if I have liked your latest Facebook update that becomes my last action if I then like my friends status that becomes my last action and you're like becomes my second last so the last 50 actions that I've made in total have a stronger weight on what I will see in my newsfeed another thing to note is the strongest weight is given to the last ten actions and the weakest weight is given to the first ten actions so my 50th to 40th like still given a lot of weight compared to a few of my hundredth however it will decrease as I make more actions so these are the Facebook algorithms to understand and it's really important to have a comprehensive understanding of this knowledge so that in the next segment you understand exactly what we're doing to hack and optimize our content to display in this many news feeds possible because on average only 12 to 16 percent of people see your post in their newsfeed we want to triple or even more than triple this number so all of our updates are getting seen by as many people as possible let's go and see how that's done.

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