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How Facebook News Feed Works

Как работает лента новостей в Facebook

Facebook (Facebook) is the largest social network in the world. It was founded on February 4, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his roommates while studying at Harvard University - Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskowitz and Chris Hughes.

The website was originally named Thefacebook and was available only to Harvard University students, then registration was opened for other universities in Boston, and then for students of any educational institutions in the United States that have an email address in the .edu domain. Since September 2006, the site has been available to all Internet users over the age of 16 with an email address.

Facebook is one of the five most visited websites in the world. As of July 2016, the Facebook audience amounted to 1.71 billion users - those who visited the site at least once a month or during the specified period of time was recorded using the Like button and tracking cookies. The daily active audience in March amounted to 720 million people - so much is recorded by the Facebook tracking network daily. August 24, 2015 the number of visitors to the social network Facebook for the first time amounted to one billion people. 1.03 billion people per month use the Facebook mobile app. Every day, users leave 6 billion likes and comments on a social network and publish 300 million photos. The site recorded 200 billion "friendship ties." The number of page views in October 2011 amounted to 1 trillion, the number of video views on the site in 2015 reached 8 billion a day. Thanks to this site, Mark Zuckerberg at age 23 became the youngest billionaire on the planet.

The news feed algorithm on Facebook is constantly changing, and few people understand the principle of its operation. People keep complaining that they don’t have what they are interested in, but the brands are angry, that the coverage of their posts suddenly collapses. Today we will unveil the veil of secrecy. By the 10th anniversary of the Facebook feed, TechCrunch has prepared a detailed guide on how the Facebook news feed works and how to “subdue” its algorithm and make as many people as possible see your content.

What does the news feed achieve

In short, the goal of Facebook is to select the ten most relevant and engaging stories from the thousands that appear every day, and show them in your feed in the first place. These stories are ranked in descending order - starting with the most important, for example, your sibling’s wedding. Then comes a dozen posts shared by your close friends, then posts from the brands you are subscribed to, and at the very end - boring events and events of distant acquaintances and even strangers.

Priority is given to stories that you most likely like, comment on or share, click on and read - that is, into which you are “involved”. Facebook also has online research and offline focus groups that give them more insights about what people want to see in their feeds.

It is not surprising that Facebook spends so much time and effort: the more users are involved in the content, the more time they spend on the site, the more advertising they can show, the more money the social network will earn.

Natural selection

The more people and companies start Facebook pages, the more competition for limited space in the news feed. Views do not grow as fast as the amount of content.

This leads to a natural decrease in engagement in content, so the percentage of page subscribers who saw a post from all who could potentially see it decreases from time to time. The reason is not that Facebook wants to pump out more paid placements from the business - you just need to compete competently for a place in the sun in the Facebook feed.

How to influence what you see

Как работает лента новостей в Facebook

So how does the Facebook algorithm determine what appears in the feed and in what order? He assigns each story a personal assessment of relevance, which is different for each user who sees it. The most relevant stories are shown first. When evaluating relevance, the algorithm takes into account thousands of different signals. But there are four main factors that decide when to show a story to a specific user.

Who posted it

The more you interacted with a story writer in the recent past, the more interesting his news is for you, says Facebook. Interaction is understood not only as likes, comments, messages, but also if you slowed down scrolling when you saw his post, went to his page, tagged him in your posts or he tagged you, etc. That’s why you don’t see posts from old friends you haven’t interacted with for several years.

How other people reacted to the post

The more reaction the post received from other users, the sooner Facebook will show it to you. Sometimes people and brands publish boring stories that a couple of people pay attention to - such posts will immediately sink into oblivion. But if a large percentage of people who saw the post in the first place like, comment on, or somehow react to it, Facebook will conclude that this is something interesting, and show it to more people.

What type of post is this

If you react more often to a specific type of publication (photo, video, status, link, event, job change), Facebook will more often show you this type of publication. Different people like different types of posts. I like reading articles more, you watch videos. But if you never watch the video, Facebook will not show them to you.

When it was published

The fresher the story, the sooner you will see it. And Facebook checks when you last watched the feed. If you check it every hour, Facebook will show the latest posts. If you have not visited for a week, you will see all the most important events, for example, a publication about the birth of a child with your best friend, even if she is already five days old.

Как работает лента новостей в Facebook

All these factors together have a strong influence on the formation of the news feed and the order in which publications appear in it. Facebook also learns how you interact with the feed, and over time notices that you are interested and attracted to how your behavior is changing and why.

But there are several more factors that affect the tape, although not as much as the above.

How many other people posted the same thing

If about a dozen of your friends have published a link to the same article or video, Facebook considers this to be very cool content and reports that “Vasilisa Vasilyeva and 11 other friends shared this ...” higher in your stream.

News created by Facebook

When Facebook releases a new product, such as Live video or Slideshows, it needs to test it. The algorithm can initially show too many or too few posts about a new product, until it receives a feedback to determine the appropriate level of visibility.

How is advertising inserted

Как работает лента новостей в Facebook

Facebook also inserts ads in the news feed. She does not squeeze out any organic publications from her, but simply squeezes between them, omitting all subsequent posts on one slot.

Facebook uses a very similar algorithm to determine which ads are most relevant to you. At the same time, the social network limits the amount of advertising that you can see, thus trying to maximize the response to the advertising that you still show. After all, if you click on it, the social network will earn money.

The more Facebook knows about you, the more useful ads will be shown to you. If you fill out your profile as much as possible and like and comment on the brand content that you like, Facebook ads will become personalized and more relevant, and will inform you about the products, services, events and applications that interest you.

How to control your news feed

Как работает лента новостей в Facebook

Facebook provides explicit and implicit opportunities to tell the news feed what you want to see in it.

Implicit signals are your behavior in the tape. If you like the stories of specific people, you will see more of their publications. If you ignore someone’s posts, you’ll see fewer stories from these people and pages. Therefore, it is important to respond specifically to the content that you like, and not to like in order to cajole someone, or to pass by if you do not like the person who shared it.

Facebook also offers explicit tools for adjusting news feeds. Each post has a drop-down menu that allows you to:

  • Hide the post from the feed and no longer show similar content;
  • split the author and no longer show his posts;
  • set the story aside for later and show more similar content;
  • turn off notifications and no longer receive them from this author.

There is also the option “Show first”. It allows you to choose people whose publications you want to see always and immediately. This feature can be useful if you want to keep abreast of the events of your best friends, boss or mom.

List of changes in the feed algorithm

Как работает лента новостей в Facebook

Facebook is constantly changing the algorithm for issuing posts in the news feed. Adapts it so that people cannot hack the principle and cunning. Learning to reach new content providers and adjust information flows. And so that users do not suspect the company that it had tricked itself there, there is a blog in which Facebook informs about all the changes.

The most recent changes to the algorithm are:


The most recent changes to the algorithm are:

High quality page publishing - timely, relevant, which you share and recommend, interesting, not memes that you will not complain about, you will not hide from a source you trust, with a completed profile and a large database of subscribers.

More relevant ads - less advertising that other people hide.

High quality news - More links to quality articles, fewer links to memes and photos, articles on a similar topic with those that you previously read.

More statuses from friends - more text statuses of your friends, less - from pages.

More stories on topics of interest to you - The post of the page in which another page was buttoned up may appear in the subscribers' feed of the quilted page.

Spam removal - fewer posts from pages that insistently ask people to like, comment and share their content. The fewer posts that the page has previously shared, fewer spam links with tricks in the wording or formatting, designed to attract more users.

Focus on shared stories - More stories from third-party organic reach apps and fewer artificially and automatically distributed stories.

Show top videos - more videos that people watch and watch longer, more videos for those who like to watch videos, and less for those who ignore it in the stream.

Click-fight - fewer links that don’t explain the essence of what's inside, fewer links to sites where people spend little time, more links to sites where people spend a lot of time, more links to sites that discuss after they’ve visited, more posts with links in the header format and fewer - with links in the description or inscribed on a photo or video (viruses are so common - ed.).

Advertising feedback - Facebook explores how and why users hide ads, with more emphasis on those who don't often hide ads.

More timely stories. - more stories that reflect the latest trends.

More control over what you see. - when you hide someone’s story, you can choose further actions in relation to the content from this person.

Less promotion - fewer posts that convince people to buy something, install, go somewhere, or that copy someone’s advertising content that was previously published.

Minimize cheating - fewer posts that users mark as fake or delete because they contain lies and falsifications.

More content from friends - more friends posts instead of page posts, more posts for new users, whose feed is still low in content.

More stories you spend more time on - which people look at longer when flipping through a tape.

Priority function - allows you to choose friends whose publications you want to see first.

Focus on how people hide posts - if a person often hides posts in his feed, even those that like and comment, the algorithm less often takes this into account when forming the feed.

Video Actions - more videos that people watch with sound are deployed to full screen in high resolution.

Ribbon optimization with poor connection - fewer videos and more statuses if you have slow internet.

Reaction - more stories similar to the ones you responded to.

Studies to Avoid Poor Stories - fewer viral stories that, according to research, people do not like.

Offline feed - when someone did not have the Internet, Facebook will reevaluate the previously downloaded stories and display them instead of the no connection icon.

Quality feedback - more stories with surveys and quality research that people would rather appreciate and honor.

Matching reactions and stories - over time, Facebook hopes to show people more stories that match their reactions, that is, if people often react to something with a haha ​​smile, then they will see more funny stories.

Live videos at the time of broadcast - they fall into the tape as soon as the author begins to stream.

Time spent on sites - More links to articles that people read longer on third-party sites.

Priority to friends and family in front of pages - more stories from people you love, less from brands.

Clickby with fakes or links to an unrelated source - dishonest posts and deceitful maneuvers will be less likely to appear in your stream.

Promotion of more informative stories - more benefit in the tape.

News feed strategy

When you are going to publish something, ask yourself: is it interesting or funny for other people? Maybe you just show off your successes or aggressively advertise your business?

Based on the foregoing, the best thing you can do to appear more often in your subscribers' feed is to publish interesting, relevant, unique stories that resonate with your audience. This is content that looks beautiful, funny or emotional, important news or something that can surprise / delight a large number of people. Avoid self-promotion and spam, dry content or button accordions, boring stories that are of little interest to anyone.

The Facebook feed algorithm is complex, but the people it serves are pretty simple. We all want to be pleased. Please, please, and Facebook will share your story with the whole world.

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