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How does the news feed on Facebook

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 Moscovitz and Chris Hughes.

Initially, the website was named Thefacebook and was accessible only to students at Harvard University, then registration was opened for other universities in Boston, and then for students of any US educational institutions that have an email address in the .edu domain. Since September 2006, the site is available to all Internet users aged 16 and over who have an email address.

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

The news feed algorithm on Facebook is constantly changing, and few people understand how it works. People continually complain that they don’t have what they’re interested in, and brands get angry that their posts suddenly collapse. Today we lift the veil of secrecy. For the 10th anniversary of the Facebook feed, TechCrunch prepared a detailed guide on how Facebook's news feed works and how to “conquer” its algorithm and make your content see as many people as possible.

What is the news feed

In short, Facebook’s goal is to select the ten most relevant and engaging stories from the thousands that appear every day and show them in your feed first. These stories are ranked in descending order - starting with the most important ones, such as your sibling's wedding. Then there are 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 strangers altogether.

Priority is given to stories that you most likely like, comment or share, which you click and read - that is, in 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.

Not surprisingly, Facebook spends so much time and effort on this: 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 get pages on Facebook, the more competition for limited space in the news feed. Views don't grow as fast as the amount of content.

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

How to influence what you see

Как работает лента новостей в Facebook

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

Who posted it

The more you interact with the author of the story in the recent past, the more interesting his news to you, says Facebook. Interaction means not only likes, comments, messages, but also if you slowed down scrolling, saw his post, went to his page, tagged him in his posts or he tagged you, etc. That is why you do not see posts from old friends with whom you have not interacted for several years.

How other people responded to the post

The more reaction the post has 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, liked, commented on or reacted to it somehow, Facebook will conclude that this is something interesting, and show it to more people.

What type of post

If you are more likely to respond to a particular type of publication (photo, video, status, link, event, job change), Facebook will often show you publications of this type. Different people like different types of posts. I like to read articles more, to you - to watch video. But if you never watch videos, 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 viewed the tape. If you check it every hour, Facebook will show the newest posts. If you have not visited the 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 sequence in which publications appear in it. Facebook also examines how you interact with the tape, and eventually notices that you are interested and lured, how your behavior changes and why.

But there are several other factors that influence the tape, although not as much as the ones listed above.

How many other people have posted the same

If a dozen of your friends posted a link to the same article or video, Facebook thinks it’s very cool content and reports that “Vasilisa Vasilyeva and 11 other friends shared this ...” higher in your feed.

Facebook News

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

How to insert advertising

Как работает лента новостей в Facebook

Facebook also inserts ads into the news feed. It does not force out any organic publications from it, but simply squeezes between them, dropping all subsequent posts into one slot.

To determine which ad is most relevant to you, Facebook uses a very similar algorithm. 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 the ads will be. If you fill out your profile to the maximum and like and comment on the content of the brands you like, advertising on Facebook 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 features to tell the news feed that you want to see in it.

Implicit signals are your behavior in the tape. If you like stories of specific people, you will see more of their posts. If you ignore someone's posts, you will 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, to please someone, or to pass by, if you do not like the person who has scratched it.

Facebook also offers explicit tools for adjusting news feeds. In each post there is a drop-down menu that allows you to:

  • hide the post from the feed and no longer show similar content;
  • to defraud the author and not to show his posts;
  • postpone the story until later and show more similar content;
  • turn off notifications and no longer receive them from this author.

There is also an option “Show first”. It allows you to select 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 mother.

List of changes in the news 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 can not hack the principle and cheat. Learns to reach new content providers and adjust the flow of information. And so that users do not suspect the company that it is something there nahimil itself, 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 will share and recommend, interesting, not memes that you will not complain to, will not hide from a source you trust, with a filled profile and a large subscriber base.

More relevant ads - less advertising that other people hide.

High quality news - more links to high-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 that interest you. - the post of the page in which another page was started may appear in the feed of subscribers of the hemmed page.

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

Focus on stories you willingly share - more stories from third-party applications with organic coverage and less artificially and automatically distributed stories.

Showing the best 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 tape.

Clickbit Fight - fewer links that do not explain the essence of what is 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 are discussed after they visited, more posts with links in the header format and less with links in the description or written on a photo or video (as viruses often spread - ed.).

Feedback Advertising - Facebook explores how and why users hide ads, putting more emphasis on those who do not 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 what to do next to the content from that person.

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

Minimization of deception - fewer posts that users mark as fake or delete, because they contain lies and falsifications.

More content from friends - more publications of friends instead of posts pages, more posts for new users, in the tape of which there is still little content.

More stories you spend more time on - on which people look longer when leafing through the tape.

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

Focus on how people hide posts - if a person often hides posts in his tape, even those that were posted and commented, the algorithm rarely takes this into account when forming the tape.

Accounting for actions with video - more videos that people watch with sound, deploy to full screen in high resolution.

Ribbon optimization with poor coupling - less video and more statuses if you have slow internet.

Reaction accounting - more stories similar to those to which you responded.

Research to avoid low-quality stories - fewer viral stories that, according to research, people do not like.

Offline tape - when someone did not have the Internet, Facebook will overestimate previously downloaded stories and show them instead of the icon of a lack of connection.

Quality feedback - more stories with surveys and qualitative research that people would rather appreciate and read.

Matching reactions and stories - over time, Facebook hopes to show people more stories that correspond to their reactions, that is, if people often react to something with a “ha-ha” smile, they will see more funny stories.

Live videos at the time of broadcast - they get into the tape as soon as the author starts streaming.

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

Priority to friends and family before pages - more stories from people dear to you, less - from brands.

Clickbyte with fakes or links to unrelated source - dishonest posts and deceptive maneuvers will appear less often in your tape.

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

News feed strategy

When you are going to publish something, ask yourself: is it interesting or fun for other people? Maybe you just brag about your success or aggressively promote your business?

Based on the foregoing, the best thing you can do to appear more often in the feed of your subscribers is to post 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 news feed algorithm is complex, but the people it serves are fairly simple. We all want to please us. Please others, and Facebook will share your story with the world.

Via & & wiki