Site Logo Site Logo

Blog September 10, 2014

How Facebook calculates news feed?

Author Picture

Writen by nitin.jha

Viewed 3 min read

How Facebook Calculates What Appears In Your News Feed / The ultimate intelligence : Facebook News Feed

Ever wondered how does Facebook decide which content should appear in your News Feed. Ever wondered how does facebook somehow ‘know’ who your best buddies are in the online world and almost shows all their activities on your homepage but displays only a select few from the friends with whom you don’t interact much. Have you noticed one of your witty status updates garnering more likes than you ever imagined? Even from friends of your friends or complete strangers? All these are not mere coincidences but the work of a very clever and complex algorithm commonly called the edgerank.  Edgerank is the master spy of Facebook, it tabs each and every activity of yours, analyses it and streams your newsfeed with fresh and relevant content from all-over the Facebook.

On an average, out of 1500 potential stories per user the edge rank filters down them to a manageable 300 stories. Let us see how this filtering takes place and what could it mean for you and your business.

How does edge-rank work

Edge rank uses a variety of parameters like your relationship with the post – A post by your brother, wife, or your friend or a page that you are a fan of will assign an important factor of relationship to the particular post and you are most likely to see them in the same order in your newsfeed. That means a status update by your wife is likely to appear higher in your newsfeed than a brand you follow.

Another factor is the ‘weight’ of the post. Edgerank employs the element of weighting to understand what can be more important to you. For example, if a mutual friend has commented on brand X and another mutual friend has ‘liked’ Celebrity Y, Facebook is most likely to place the commented post higher on your news feed considering it to have more weight. Similarly, a share could have a weight higher than even a comment.

The third factor is the time lag. This would be the most easier to understand and the least controversial. It simply means that more recent the post the more ‘edge’ it has over a similar yet older post. That’s how you continuously get fresh stories and the older stories keep fading away even though they have gained a lot of weight ( by garnering likes, comments, shares etc.)

Facebook uses all these factors in a complex combination and churns out the most relevant stories for you. Edge rank is an organic algorithm; it is learning everyday from user experience and evolving. While one can argue their right to have an unfiltered newsfeed it can be said that the real reason behind employing edge rank is to sustain the user traction in a way that it is useful for both users and the brands.

Work with us

We would love to hear more about your project