How Does Facebook’s Algorithm Work?

Regardless of your stance on social media, it’s important for all business owners to recognize how important Facebook is for brand awareness. The social network allows current customers and potential customers alike to interact with businesses in a dynamic and personable manner. Facebook can also serve as a means of bringing in business in a way not all too dissimilar to Google.

Like Google search, Facebook’s news feed is maintained by an algorithm that is predicated on showing the most relevant and helpful information to its users. However, unlike Google’s algorithm, the Facebook news feed is specifically tailored to each individual Facebook user. The photos and posts displayed in news feeds are determined by what Facebook assumes are of interest to its users.

The algorithm predominantly grabs posts from friends’ pages, and pages that the users “liked”. People don’t send a “friend request” to see a company’s posts, they “like” the company’s page. The business’ posts will then appear on the news feeds of everybody who “liked” their page. Businesses can also “Boost” their posts, which will show these posts on people’s news feeds who haven’t “liked” their page. Of course, this requires businesses to pay a fee, but in return, they will be allowed to select what demographic they would like to market towards. This ensures that the money businesses spend on Facebook promotions doesn’t go to waste.

Promoting on Facebook can get expensive if companies boost every single one of their posts. Therefore, it’s smart for companies to know how Facebook’s algorithm works regarding non-promoted posts. Here are 5 factors that Facebook’s algorithm accounts for:

  1. How recently the post was published: The term ‘news feed’ implies each displayed post is current and relevant. Therefore, it wouldn’t be very helpful if posts from 2012 are appearing on people’s news feeds, unless somebody had recently commented on it.
  2. How relevant Facebook considers the post based on the user’s interests: If a user follows a bunch of skateboard design companies and enjoys watching the videos they post, these types of videos will appear more prominently than another page’s photos, for instance. Facebook’s algorithm factors in what types of posts (videos, statuses, photos, etc…) specific users enjoy most in their browsing sessions.
  3. How much interaction the users have had with a post’s creator: If a person is always “liking” a companies’ posts or commenting on their photos, then the company’s posts will rank highly in the person’s news feeds.
  4. How popular a person/company has generally been in the past: For the most part, companies who receive hundreds of likes on all their posts will be more prominent on people’s news feeds than companies who typically receive one or two likes.
  5. How strongly a post is currently performing: If a post generates several “likes” or “shares” quickly after it’s been published, it will receive a significant boost, as Facebook will take its popularity as a mark on its quality.


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