How Facebook Decides What Will Appear in Your News feed

What you see in your Facebook news feed is dependent on a number of factors which Facebook calls Edgerank. Similar to how Google uses pagerank when ranking pages in their search results. Realistically what this means for most posters on Facebook is that the friends that you interact the most with are the most likely to see your posts and that’s the way you would want it. However for businesses on Facebook understanding how each of your posts are ranked and how likely they are to come up in their followers wall is far more important.

This is particularly important for followers who have selected “top news” as opposed to “most recent news”. Top news displays the news that Facebook feels are most relevant to you based on usage data and interactions. Most recent will display updates from all your friends as they happen. It is worth noting that Top news is the default setting on facebook.

How is Facebook EdgeRank calculated?

The mathematical formula released by Facebook is

Facebook Edgerank = Affinity score * Weight * Time Decay

The Affinity score is a calculation for the affinity between the user and the creator of the item. Some of the measures that can help calculate the affinity are:

  • The messages being exchanged between a user and the creator of the item.
  • Number of times the  users profile was checked

The Weight is the type of the interaction between the Facebook users.  The following are some of the interactions which can considered when calculating weight (listed in the order of importance) :

  • A tag on a picture
  • Comments
  • Likes

The last and most obvious one is the Time. The older the post or update, the lower the time decay number.

So looking at each factor, all comes back to the most important factor in Social media marketing: User Engagement. The higher your engagement with your friends or fans, the higher will be your edgerank with a user. And the higher your edgerank score with a user, the higher is the chance of your update to get listed in the users ‘Top news’.


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