How Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Affects Visibility on Facebook

By Stephanie Diamond, John Haydon

Just because someone becomes a fan of your Facebook Page doesn’t mean that she’s seeing your Page content in her News Feed. This fact bears repeating: Someone who becomes a fan of your Page doesn’t automatically see your Page content in her News Feed.

A sneaker company that attracts new fans in exchange for a 20 percent discount but fails to post updates that are interesting and engaging to fans will find a hard time nurturing and growing a vibrant fan base. Its Page updates will disappear from its fans’ News Feeds because of the Facebook News Feed algorithm.

The News Feed algorithm is ever changing. It’s what Facebook uses to determine how content ranks within a user’s News Feed. In general, updates that aren’t interesting or useful to Facebook users likely won’t appear in their News Feeds. In 2018, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook’s algorithm will favor friends and family, thereby pushing Page content out of view.

In general, to determine whether a Page post shows up in the News Feed, Facebook’s algorithm considers these main factors:

  • Whether you’ve interacted with a Page’s posts before: If you like every post by a Page that Facebook shows you, Facebook shows you more posts from that Page.
  • Other people’s reactions: If everyone else on Facebook ignores a post or complains about it, the post is less likely to show up in your News Feed. Conversely, if a post has an extraordinarily high rate of engagement, Facebook considers the post more authentic and pushes that update to more of your Facebook Page fans.
  • Your interaction with previous posts of the same type: If you always like photos, there’s a better chance that you’ll see a photo posted by a Page.
  • Complaints: If that specific post has received complaints from other users who saw it, or if the Page that posted it received lots of complaints in the past, you’ll be less likely to see that post.
  • Popular videos: Facebook will display videos that are popular based on time watched and whether they were completed.
  • Timely posts: If a topic is hot at the moment, Facebook will be more likely to display it in your News Feed immediately.
  • Click-bait: Facebook is cracking down on click bait. Click-baiting occurs when a link is posted with vague or sensationalistic headlines that encourage people to click without telling them what they’ll see when they reach the advertised page. They don’t want you to see content in your News Feed that will waste your time.

The bottom line is that Facebook wants to make the News Feed useful to Facebook users so that they keep coming back. Return visits mean more advertising revenue for Facebook (its ultimate bottom line).