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How Do Facebook Algorithms Work [Facebook Algorithms 2021]

Shafqat M. is presently Head of Content at Locate Translate UK.

How Do Facebook Algorithms Work?

How Do Facebook Algorithms Work?

Perhaps, you're looking for ways to beat Facebook algorithms in 2021. But do you know how does Facebook algorithm work?

The Facebook algorithm decides how to order and present posts. In the process, it values user engagement more than the quality of content. Consequently, gives weight to posts most relevant to end-users and can incite engagement. Facebook algorithms publish content based on relevance, chronologically.

The biggest, by far most disruptive also, update for algorithms on Facebook was rolled out in 2018, January.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, announced it himself as he aimed to promote social interactions on the social networking site, Facebook.

This is what he had to say about Facebook algorithms and how they rank content:

I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content ... meaningful social interactions. The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family, and groups. As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.

— Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO

How Do Social Media Algorithms Work in General?

Let's try to understand in a detailed manner how algorithms on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. work.

Key insights drawn will help you better understand how various social media sites work and how to master social media marketing (SMM).

Greg Jarboe of SEO-PR - a digital marketing agency he co-founded in 2003 with Jamie O’Donnell and is now its president - provides key insights on the subject in the article, How Do Social Media Algorithms Work? published in Search Engine Journal.

Note-worthy is his elucidation of the term, “parallax” view, and his attempt to contrast through this term attitudes of marketers and influencers towards social media networking sites.

The marketer's attitude is distinguished by their hunt for influencers on platforms with enormous reach.

Starkly contrasting is the attitude of influencers who evaluate social media platforms not based on their reach but based on opportunities, both in terms of money and audience, those platforms offer.

Going by their line of thinking, we've got for influencer marketing the following top 5 social networking sites:

Source: Benchmark Report, The State of Influencer Marketing 2020

Social Media PlatformPercentage









Though Facebook tops the charts in terms of reach it lags significantly when viewed from influencers' perspective.

While marketers base their value on "campaign output's" reach, it's influencers who win big by focusing instead on "program outcome's" growth.

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Learning how influencers evaluate platforms may just open doors to new strategic insights and marketers can benefit from them in a great way.

What Facebook's Algorithm Do Exactly?

So what is Facebook's algorithm doing, exactly?

Based on the number of likes, shares, comments social posts manage to garner, determines how well Facebook algorithms will rank it in News Feed.

Moreover, if a post leads to meaningful interactions, Facebook will rank it higher.

That means posts users are interested in or are likely to interact with will show often in users' feeds. Posts from friends and family fall in this category of high-priority posts.

Though good for users on Facebook, but brands suffer because of it as their posts are downgraded, left languishing in Facebook's data centers.

It's for this reason that Facebook ranks at the bottom influencer platforms list for influencer marketing.

Since there aren't any significant opportunities for influencers to make money and grow on Facebook, specifically how Facebook marketing algorithms work, hence they leave it alone.

However, a significant number of marketers continue to post images, videos, write-ups on Facebook, though very few share, comment, or like any of these posts.

Likes and Followers on their Facebook Pages, however, keep marketers on Facebook, which isn't rational at all given a minuscule .0035% of followers actually see their posts, according to Greg Jarboe.

Facebook Algorithms Value User Engagement More Compared to Quality of Content

Undoubtedly the most popular of all social sites, the Facebook algorithms value user engagement more compared to the quantity of content published.

For algorithms on Facebook, your content is nothing but a heap of trash if it doesn't promote meaningful customer engagements.

That's why friends and families' posts enjoy greater importance for obvious reasons of viewership, instead of business posts.

The same holds for paid content as well, where customer engagement and relevance determine the ranking of ads in the users' feed.

What's is unique about Facebook's algorithms is spam management. Incorporated back in 2018, it led to the removal of half a billion false and spammy accounts from Facebook.

How to Increase Visibility and Stay Relevant on Facebook?

Facebook after updating its algorithm recently asked its users to prioritize these points to stay relevant and continue to rank higher:

  • Pay more attention to generating meaningful conversations on social media than involving in all-out transactions.
  • The engagement baiting irks social media algorithms, hence should be avoided.
  • Priority should be given to publishing original native video content.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Shafqat M

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