How Facebook Calculates What Appears In Your News Feed

This post by Mari Smith originally appeared on her site on 7/18/14.

The problem with Facebook organic reach can be summed up in one single graphic: Only 6 percent of your fans are seeing your content in their news feed. The other 94 percent are not.

Some sources indicate that organic reach may drop to 1-2 percent in the near future. Others say it’s destined to hit zero; it’s only a matter of time.

These stats are a big drop from the already low 16 percent that Facebook indicated back in April 2012.

What is causing the decline in organic reach?

The simplest answer is there is a significantly greater amount of potential content flooding into our news feeds on a daily basis. This bigger firehose of content is caused by several factors, including:

– The average number of Facebook friends users have is 338 (that’s a big increase compared to 130 back in 2008).

– 15 percent of Facebook users have more than 500 friends.

– There are between 1500 and 15,000 pieces of content that Facebook could potentially show in your news feed each time you log on to the site!

– The Facebook news feed ranking algorithm (some folks call this formula ‘EdgeRank’) uses more than 100,000 weights* to determine what you’ll see.

– Ultimately, out of the 1,500 – 15,000 potential stories, Facebook passes them through the mega algorithm and displays approximately 300 stories in your feed.

*Examples of weights: how many mutual friends like the person/page/content, how often you interact with the person/page, when the post was published, when the last comment was made, what types of content you typically interact with: watch more videos and Facebook will show you more videos, like more links and Facebook will show you more links.

 

Click here to read the full post, which includes charts, an infographic and 12 concrete tips for expanding organic “reach”, on Mari Smith’s site.

 

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