How the Facebook Algorithm Works in 2022 and How to Make it Work for You
Facebook (now known as Meta) was created in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, who attended Harvard University at the time. Initially, the company was used as a social networking website for students.
However, the social media platform grew rapidly in the following years, and it’s now one of the most popular sites on the internet. In fact, the site has more than 2.9 billion monthly active users, that’s over 1/3 of all people on Earth!
As a result, Facebook is one of the most influential companies in the world. And with such a large userbase comes an increased responsibility to provide high-quality content.
In order to do so, Facebook has implemented an algorithm that determines what users see when they log on. The company started using this system in 2007 and continues to tweak it as time goes on.
So, read on to learn more about how the Facebook Algorithm works in 2022, as well as how you can increase your chances of being seen by more people.
What is the Facebook algorithm?
The Facebook algorithm is a complex series of code that determines what content shows up in your News Feed and the order in which it appears.
This code is constantly being updated to ensure that users see the most relevant and engaging content. The algorithm also identifies and removes spam from Facebook, which helps keep the site free from viruses and other harmful programs.
Additionally, the algorithm was created to keep users on Facebook for as long as possible by serving them with a continuous stream of relevant content. The longer users spend on the site, the more ads users see and (hopefully) click, meaning more revenue to brands advertising and Facebook!
What is EdgeRank?
EdgeRank was Facebook’s original News Feed algorithm that determined which stories appear in your feed and who would see your posts. The algorithm took into account three main variables: affinity, weight and time decay.
Affinity is the measure of how close your relationship is with another user. How many likes or comments you exchange, or how often you tag each other in photos, will increase your affinity score with that person. If a user has a high affinity score with you, their posts will be more likely to appear in your news feed.
This is the type of content being created (a photo post will have more weight than a status update). Posts with more weight tend to appear higher up in News Feed. Weight can also change over time, so if a post is getting lots of comments, it may get more weight than other posts.
3. Time Decay
The final variable considered by EdgeRank is time decay. The older an interaction is, the less likely it is to appear in someone’s News Feed. This ensures that people see fresh content every time they log in to Facebook.
EdgeRank has now been replaced by a more advanced algorithm that can assess hundreds of thousands of factors.
Facebook’s algorithm history (2009-2022)
The first version of Facebook’s algorithm was released in 2009. The goal of this code was to ensure that users saw content that would keep them on the site for as long as possible. From there, more features were added and Facebook’s Algorithm took off!
Here’s a brief timeline:
2009 – 2012
With the introduction of News Feed filters, Facebook started to prioritize content based on how much time a user spent looking at it. Only posts with high engagement (likes and comments) would show up at the top of people’s news feeds. This change was a major shift in how Facebook operated, and it changed the way that users interacted with the site.
In 2011, Facebook added the News Ticker. This significant change combines the news feed with a ticker of recent posts from your family and friends—without regard for engagement level.
Then, in 2012, Facebook went public and became the largest tech company to offer shares. This paved the way for paid advertising—and other changes.
With this in mind, Facebook began to create ways for brands to reach a wider audience while rewarding those businesses that kept users engaged on the site.
2013 – 2017
In 2013, Facebook changed its news feed to emphasize high-quality content and make the design more visually appealing.
Starting in 2014, Facebook became more focused on customer experience. The company took notice of what people weren’t using or responding to on their platform —and then it stopped showing those things so much.
The algorithm began to track metrics like the bounce rate on posts, and how much time users spent reading or watching videos after clicking them.
From 2015 to 2017, Facebook expanded upon its history of innovation by adding GIFs and the “Buy” button to its list of groundbreaking features. They also introduced what may be one of their most significant sources for user interaction— Facebook Reactions.
2018 – 2022
However, as soon as Facebook began to promote viral reach for posts with a lot of interactions, people started making ‘artificial’ interactions — i.e., fake likes and comments.
In addition to these problems, Facebook’s news feed became more crowded with fake news and controversial political posts. As a result, people began spending less time on the platform.
On January 12, 2018, Mark Zuckerberg decided to visit fifteen countries. During his travels, he would ask people about Facebook—users were asked to rate their satisfaction with the news feed and offer suggestions for future improvements.
After that, the company updated its news feed again and re-evaluated engagement metrics such as video views, impressions, reach and tagging—allowing it to create a new ranking system for both pages and ads.
Since then, brands and social media experts have learned how the algorithm works and adapted their posting strategies accordingly. But it’s constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up-to-date.
How does the Facebook algorithm work in 2022?
First of all, it is a machine learning algorithm, meaning that it can train itself on data and grow better at its job over time. That’s one of the reasons why Facebook’s algorithm is so effective at serving you relevant content.
The company regularly tests new features and releases updates, but it doesn’t announce changes in advance. Instead, they’re rolled out quietly and then evaluated based on user feedback. If people like what they see, the update is made permanent; if not, Facebook rolls back the change and tries something else.
Facebook’s algorithm works by predicting the types of stories users want to see at the top of their News Feed. The algorithm automatically pulls together stories based on your past actions, including comments, likes and shares. It also takes into account how many friends are interacting with a story; because Facebook assumes that if a lot of people are commenting on it, it must be interesting.
The data that Facebook has on you is vast and ever-growing: it knows about your social connections, your activity on the platform, the topics and brands that interest you, and so much more. And as it learns more about you from your actions (e.g. liking posts, clicking links), it can make better predictions about what types of things you’d like to see in your feed.
It’s worth noting that this is not an exact science: no matter how much data Facebook can gather to inform its decisions, there will always be some guesswork involved when it comes to figuring out what types of posts are going to be engaging for you as an individual. This means that sometimes the algorithm will get it wrong—so if something is boring or irrelevant, just scroll on by!
Facebook Algorithm’s Four Ranking Factors
The Facebook algorithm is complex, but there are four main factors that determine how content is distributed in the News Feed. They’ve revealed these are:
1. Inventory: What content has been posted by friends and publishers?
“Inventory” is a term Facebook uses to refer to the set of posts that appear in the news feed.
Depending on which surface you are using within Facebook—News Feed, Watch etc.—you will see different kinds of content because these surfaces emphasize different types of information: News Feed primarily contains updates from people in your connections, while Watch is a destination for videos.
The news feed also shows content from Pages, but the algorithm prioritizes updates from friends and family members over those from brands and publishers.
2. Signals: Who posted this story?
Here, Facebook looks at hundreds of thousands of signals—who posted a story, when they did so, and whether they can discern details about the environment where it was viewed—to determine how likely a user is to click on a given article.
3. Predictions: How likely are you to engage with this post?
The Algorithm then uses all of those signals to assess whether or not a user might find a post meaningful.
Facebook makes predictions such as:
- What are the chances that you will comment on a story?
- How long do you typically spend reading stories like this one?
- Do you watch videos all the way through before deciding whether or not to keep them open in your browser tabs?
4. Score: How interested will people be in this post?
Then, Facebook combines and uses all of those signals to develop a relevance score—a number that represents how interested they think people will be in a post. The Algorithm then uses that score to decide how prominently a post should appear in News Feed. The higher the relevance score, the more likely Facebook will show it to users when they log on.
How to make the Facebook algorithm work for you
Facebook’s algorithm is notorious for being complicated and ever-changing, and we get it: sometimes you feel like your posts aren’t getting the engagement that they deserve.
Here are some Facebook hacks to make the algorithm fall in love with you:
- Know what people are talking about. You want engagement, right? The algorithm cares about engagement too. The more people talk about something on Facebook (by liking or sharing content), the more likely it is to show up in their friends’ feeds. So first things first: figure out what’s trending right now and find ways that you can use it to your advantage.
- Post frequently, but not too frequently. Aim for at least three posts per week, and space them out throughout the week.
- Come up with a system for responding quickly to comments and direct messages. If someone asks a question on your page and you don’t respond right away, that’s a missed opportunity for connection.
- Ask questions in your posts! People love giving their opinion, so you’ll get more engagement if you ask people to weigh in on something.
- If possible, share user-generated content (other people sharing your brand). This is great for showing new customers what others think about your brand and how they use it.
- Don’t be afraid of hashtags (sometimes). Hashtags increase the likelihood that new people will come across your posts while they’re browsing!
- Tell a story! People love stories, and they’ll like and share posts that are more personal or relatable—even if they’re not directly related to your product or service. These kinds of posts can build trust between you and your customers, which will ultimately result in more sales and more Facebook followers who will actually engage with your content!
With a better understanding of how Facebook algorithms work, it’s time for you to make the most out of the platform in 2022. These strategies will undoubtedly contribute to your success on Facebook in 2022 and beyond if properly implemented. But ultimately, execution is key. So get out there and start putting these strategies into use!
Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Our goal is to provide you with the tools and resources necessary for dealing effectively with the changes affecting your business.
That is why we have put together some of the most frequently asked questions about how Facebook’s Algorithm works in 2022.
If you don’t find the answer you are looking for, please reach out to us, and we will be happy to chat (or vent) more about this.
Can you circumvent Facebook’s algorithm?
The short answer is no. You cannot circumvent the Facebook algorithm. It’s built into the system, and it’s designed to prioritize posts that are deemed relevant or engaging by its users.
However, keep in mind the four factors we mentioned above, as well as our list of tips on a few ways to work around this algorithm and get more of your content seen by your audience.
What are some ways to get your posts seen on Facebook?
The best way to get your posts seen on Facebook is to create content that people actually want to see. That means creating engaging and relevant content that will appeal to your audience.
You can also use different tactics for boosting your posts and making the algorithm work for you, which we talked about earlier.
However, if you want to get a better idea of what’s working for your audience and what isn’t, it can help to take a peek at the analytics tools in the Meta Business Suite.
This will give you an overview of how people are engaging with your posts by showing you which ones received the most likes and comments.
You can also look at the performance of your posts to see which ones generated the most impressions and reach. The insights from this data will help you understand what kinds of content will be most effective for you moving forward, allowing you to create more engaging content that will attract more attention from your audience.
How can you reach more people on Facebook?
Facebook is a very competitive platform, and more and more people are joining every day. It can be difficult to stand out from the crowd and get your posts seen by more people. If you feel stuck in your efforts, you might want to read this post about when to know that you’re ready for a marketing agency.
Can you boost yourself on the algorithm?
The Facebook algorithm is constantly changing. Your posts will reach different people at different times, and this is something that you can’t control.
However, there are some things that you can do to help boost yourself on the algorithm. For example, posting frequently will help keep your content fresh in people’s minds and show them that you are active on their newsfeeds.
How long does a Facebook story last?
Facebook stories last for 24 hours. Once the 24-hour period is up, the story disappears from your followers’ newsfeeds. You can still use Facebook stories to promote your business and post engaging content but shouldn’t solely rely on them as an ongoing marketing strategy.
Facebook’s Algorithm is a complex system that evolves over time. While it’s impossible to know exactly how the algorithm works, there are a few things we can do as marketers to improve our performance on Facebook and increase organic reach.
By creating high-quality content, posting frequently, being strategic with your campaigns and using Facebook stories effectively, you’ll be able to get more people to read what you have to say and share it with their friends.