What is the Facebook algorithm?
The Facebook algorithm, in its most basic definition, is a means to decide the content that a user sees when they login to the platform.
While the algorithm itself is fairly complex, the News Feed works through four basic factors:
- Inventory: Represents all the content on Facebook that is available to show in a user’s News Feed.
- Signals: The indicators that instruct Facebook what content to show. While signals include several criteria, the most heavily weighted are:
- Likes, comments and shares on a user’s status
- Engagement with publisher content posted via friends and messenger shares
- Replies to comments from a video.
- Predictions: This third piece is where Facebook decides what to show a user based on their profile, News Feed preferences, and past behaviors. An interesting side note here is that according to Pew Research, nearly three-fourths (74%) of users didn’t know Facebook maintained this and almost a third (27%) claim that Facebook gets it wrong.
- Score: Every piece of content receives a quality score based on its relevance to the user. The higher the score, the greater the chance it has to appear in the user’s news feed.
By using these factors, Facebook can populate and order (prioritize) every user’s feed in a way that is unique and hyper-relevant to them.