Facebooks New Algorithm Affects Some but Not All Third Party App Posts

Jun 5, 2014

Facebook recently announced changes to its algorithm, or mathematics-driven formula, which will affect how News Feed posts are displayed on user pages. In response to data collected from its users, Facebook will give less weight to content that has not been ‘explicitly’ shared, which is primarily coming from third party apps which automatically share information without the explicit consent of users.

third party app postsAccording to Facebook, content shared manually tends to be more interesting and engaging than content shared automatically. In addition, Facebook users have demonstrated a strong preference for choosing when and how they share content. Many third party apps are designed to coerce users into giving ‘implicit’ permission for sharing as a condition for accessing the app.

Online marketers who use auto scheduling tools such as HootSuite and Buffer to post Facebook content will not be affected by the update, and may even see their posts gain visibility as the number of third party ‘implicit’ posts drops off.

How Facebook’s 3-Step ‘EdgeRank’ Algorithm Affects Your Facebook Marketing

EdgeRank is the name of Facebook’s algorithm for ranking and sorting posts made in users’ News Feed. Since active Facebook users spend an estimated 40 percent of their time with their News Feed, it’s important for marketers to understand how EdgeRank works and how it can help improve the quality and reach of their posts.

#1: Affinity

  • The affinity factors measure the quality of the relationship you have with your Facebook followers. How your followers have interacted with your Page historically will affect the visibility of your future posts. Facebook assumes that users who have liked, commented or shared your content in the past will be interested to hear from you in the future, and will prioritize your posts for those users.
  • ‘Last Actor’ is a recent update that tracks the last 50 interactions users have had on Facebook. New content from you will receive a higher priority on the News Feed of users who have recently interacted with you. This update underscores the need for consistent quality posting on your part.

#2: Weight

  • Weight assigns priority to posts based on the type of content, which have different levels of engagement.
  • Photos and videos are the top engagement vehicles, links come in second place, followed by plain text updates.
  • User engagement also plays an important role in weight; a plain text update with numerous likes and comments will place higher in the News Feed than a video with no engagement.

#3: Time Decay

  • Time decay is simply the age of your post. The older your post gets, the less likely it is to show up on a user’s News Feed, depending on how often a given user checks his or her Facebook page. Your post will remain relevant and visible longer for infrequent Facebook users.
  • The ‘Story Bumping’ update will bump your content to the top of a user’s News Feed if they interact with you regularly, making content relevancy an important consideration when creating your posts.