facebook algorithm

How the Elusive Facebook Algorithm Determines News Feeds

Written by: Katie Lipsett, Social Media Marketing Strategist

You log into Facebook. As you’re scrolling through your feed you see videos of cute animals, carefully posed selfies, political rants, celebrity endorsements, and life updates from your friends and family. To some degree, you can almost guess what you’re going to see each time you log in. Why is that?

Well, Facebook uses a complex algorithm that caters to your specific tastes and interests. By tracking your online activity, it can predict what you want to see in your feed. And this is all done without even using a crystal ball!

But seriously, how exactly are the stories that populate in your News Feed determined? To simplify, here are 3 steps Facebook takes to figure out what to show you.

Step 1: Taking Inventory

To begin the process, Facebook assesses the content options available to you. In order to determine what will show at the top of your feed, the Facebook algorithm takes inventory of the content that has been posted on your friends’ pages as well as the pages you follow.

Step 2: Catching Signals

The Facebook algorithm considers hundreds of signals when deciding which available content to show you. Every move you make online leaves a digital footprint that triggers a chain reaction. What types of stories or statuses do you react to or comment on? What posts do you click on? What content do you spend more time engaging with? What time do you generally log in? All of these signals allow Facebook to get to know you better and to understand which posts are most relevant and important to you.

Step 3: Prioritizing by Relevancy

Once the content is gathered and your signals are taken into consideration, the Facebook algorithm makes the final decision on what gets plugged into your News Feed. The algorithm takes all the information it has gathered and assigns each post a relevancy score. This score determines how interested you might be in each given post. The higher the relevancy score, the more likely you are to find that post towards the top of your News Feed.

Keeping up with the Facebook Algorithm

These steps are always in constant motion, changing and updating your feed with every click you make. In addition, the Facebook algorithm itself is updated multiple times a year. More than ever, businesses need to be engaged in understanding how the algorithm works at any given moment. Then, they need to develop a social media strategy that capitalizes on this valuable online real estate.

Keep up with the elusive Facebook algorithm, and your content will be given priority in potential customers’ News Feeds.

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