How the Facebook News Feed Works

Facebook Newsfeed

You log in every day to Facebook and see the news feed. There are updates from friends, groups that you’re in, and business pages that you follow. What you don’t know is how Facebook decides what news to share. Did you know for every post that you see there are many more that you miss out on unless you purposely go looking?

Facebook’s mission is to provide information that it thinks will interest you. That means tracking the type of posts that you share, the ones that you like, and the ones that you comment on the most.

As a business, you need to be one of those pages in the news feed. So, here’s a look at how it works so you can get into the right sets of eyes.

Facebook Judges by Affinity

If you post the same content as your competitors at the same time, your competitors may end up in someone’s news feed instead of you. This is because of the affinity the user has with the pages. That being said, if the affinity is stronger with you then you are more likely to end up in the news feed.

It’s important to think about the type of information that your competitors are going to share. You should also think about the times that you’re posting. While during the day is when most people are likely to be on social media, posting in the middle of the night could work out better for you. Fewer businesses will share and you’ll end up with unique content for people to wake up to.

This will be a case of trial and error to see when you find posting times help your engagement.

Photos and Videos Are More Engaging

Facebook considers how likely someone is to engage with a piece of content. This can mean how likely they are to “like” an update or comment on a particular status.

People are more likely to stop scrolling and take notice when there is a photo or video involved. This is because they are eye catching. They draw people in and take up more space to make people actually see them. Words on a page become a blur after a while.

So, if you want to get into news feeds, you need to give people the content that they’re more likely to stop and take notice of. Test with your own social media pages by checking out how videos and images do compared to links and basic status updates. You may be surprised!

Facebook Video

People Get to Unfollow or Block

Part of the news feed gives individuals control over what they see. If they don’t like particular posts, they are able to hide that type of content from their news feed in the future. If you share similar types of content, you’ll won’t likely show up unless they’ve engaged with you recently.

People are also able to “unfollow” pages that they like or groups that they are in. This means the content will hardly ever show up in your news feed. Instead, they have to physically visit your page or group to see the content that you’ve shared. There is nothing that you can do to get around that.

Finally, there is the option to block. This is harsher than the other methods and means that you’re blocked from seeing them like they are blocked from you. This tells Facebook that they don’t want you to know anything about them.

Facebook Working on Removing Fake News

During 2016 there were many complaints about the use of fake news for propaganda. Too many people started to believe the fake news rather than doing their research and then blamed social media for the misinformation.

Facebook decided in 2017 to take some responsibility for the fake news. It has started to remove anyone who simply uses clickbait and those who purposely share fake news for the sake of getting views. These types of posts are being removed from news feeds.

Sponsored Posts for Inclusion

If you’re not “liked” or “followed” by a person, then you won’t show up in their news feed. You’ll only be found if you use hashtags that they are searching for or keywords that they are looking for.

Those who want to appear in the news feed will need to use something called “sponsored posts.” This means paying money to appear in someone’s news feed – and you will be clearly shown as a sponsored post. You will only pay if someone actually clicks the link that you share or does an action that you want to happen.

Even if someone has hidden your type of content, it is possible to show up in feeds. It all depends on the demographics that you input to show up in the eyes of your ideal client or customer.

Facebook Sponsored Posts

There’s Still a Lot Unknown

Facebook isn’t going to give everything away about how it decides on news feed placement and creation. This would allow businesses to game the system. However, this is some of the information that is known.

There will always be changes to how the feed is populated. This will depend on requests from the Facebook users and how Facebook thinks a news feed would be preferred. You may find that in a few months time some of the above tips don’t work, so keep an eye out on your insights and look at the type of posts that are getting engagement and views.

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