The Facebook algorithm.
Whether you love it or hate it, you’ve got to understand it to be successful in marketing your business on the world’s largest social network. The average organic Facebook Page post sees just 0.07% engagement. To bump that up for your brand, you’ve got to learn how to signal the algorithm. You want it to know that your content is valuable, authentic, and worth serving up in your followers’ feeds.
What is the Facebook algorithm?
The Facebook algorithm determines which posts people see every time they check their Facebook feed, and in what order those posts show up. Essentially, the Facebook algorithm evaluates every post. It scores posts and then arranges them in descending, non-chronological order of interest for each individual user. This process happens every time a user—and there are 2.9 billion of them—refreshes their feed. We don’t know all the details of how the Facebook algorithm decides what to show people (and what not to show people). But we do know that—like all social media recommendation algorithms—one of its goals is to keep people on the platform, so that they see more ads.
In fact, Facebook faced heat in 2021 because the algorithm was prioritizing controversial content. Controversy often gets the highest engagement and can even trigger “compulsive use” of the platform. Already in 2018, voices were raised, fearing that the algorithm promotes excess, division and political polarization, while promoting false information and borderline content. For its part, Facebook explains that its algorithm aims to help users "discover new content and engage with the news that interests them most", while "keeping away spam and misleading content ". As we will see, recent changes to the Facebook algorithm were indeed intended to address concerns about content quality and privacy..
Brief timeline of the Facebook algorithm
The Facebook algorithm is constantly mutating. Indeed, Meta has an entire team working on artificial intelligence and machine learning. One of his missions? Improve the algorithms that allow Facebook users to view the content most relevant to them. Over time, the network has evolved the list of signals used to classify content: some have been added, others have been removed and still others have seen their weight change. These changes reflect one fact: Facebook seeks to show its users what it thinks they want to see. Here is a recap of the most notable milestones and developments in the Facebook algorithm.