How Facebook decides what’s in your News Feed

  • 16th November 201616/11/16
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Facebook brings with it some amazing statistics. People will check their News Feed 14 times a day and spend up to 50 minutes of the site every 24 hours. The average user also has in the region of 300 friends and is following up to 50 pages they’ve liked.

If you think of how much they share when they’re on there, that’s a lot of sharing and a lot of posts!

Thankfully, Facebook filters your main Feed, and picks and chooses what you do and don’t see. The purpose of this is to make sure that users don’t become overwhelmed with information, but what it means for businesses is that it can sometimes be hard to understand what is and what isn’t being seen by your following.

Why Facebook uses filters

The main reason Facebook uses filters to select posts for a News Feed is simply because there is so much for someone to see. Even if every friend and page posted one thing a day, the average person would have 350 posts to read. If it took you just 30 seconds to read each of those that’s almost three hours to get through it all!

They also want to make sure that there is quality content on their site. Quality comes over quantity at Facebook, and they only want users to see the good, reliable, quality content rather than click-bait fuelled rubbish. This obviously stops businesses inundating users with repeated content, and from Facebook’s perspective, ensures its users continue to enjoy a clutter free experience.

Understanding the filters

In order to be able to get your page into someone’s News Feed, you need to understand how Facebook decides what gets shown and what gets hidden. From top to bottom, there’s an average of 1,500 stories from friends and pages on a News Feed, so you’ve got some tough competition.

The algorithm Facebook uses has a whole list of questions for each post, and the answers determine whether or not your post makes it into someone’s News Feed.

Factor 1: How often does someone interact with your page?

One of the main questions revolves around interaction. How often does someone interact with this page? High interaction means your post is more likely to feature on their feed, whilst little to no interaction could result in your post being bumped off the list.

Factor 2: How much are other people you know interacting with the post?

Secondly, Facebook looks at how much interaction from other people the post has had. A high number of likes, shares, and comments will also make it more likely that your post will be included, particularly if you have them quickly after posting.

Factor 3: Have they interacted with content like this previously?

Facebook also checks to see how much a person has interacted with similar posts in the past. If Facebook thinks that your post will be of interest to someone as they have interacted with a similar post in the past, it will give it a small boost up the feed.

Factor 4: Is your content being hidden by people?

Another relevant question is whether that post is being hidden or reported a lot. If your post has been hidden by people, Facebook will think its uninteresting and drop it down the list.

Working with the filters

Now that we understand why and how Facebook chooses posts to show in News Feeds, we can use that information to improve posts and get them in peoples’ feeds. One of the best things you can do is encourage interaction. Ask for likes and comments, and reply to any you get. Why not even do the obvious and ask a question? Facebook will take note of the comments and likes, and give your business’ post more room in a News Feed.

You’ll also need to post quality content, things that people will want to engage with and see. Posting for the sake of posting can end up being more damaging than beneficial.

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