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Facebook's Edgerank - Uncovering the formula of the Facebook News Feed


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Facebook's Edgerank - Uncovering the formula of the Facebook News Feed

  1. 1. TheFacebook EdgerankUncovering the formula of the Facebook News Feed CHRISTEL QUEK SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGIST Twitter: @ladyxtel 1
  2. 2. What is the Facebook The algorithm which display the relevantEdgerank? content from users and pages is called Edgerank. According to o cial statistics released by To explain it, here are some initialFacebook, the average Facebook user has 130 definitions.friends. The News Feed is the first page that userswill see upon logging into the site. Thus, it is Any content which is generated on yourimportant to optimise the objects -status updates, News Feed is called an Object. An Object can be aphotos, videos, links- which users will find more status update, an external link shared by yourrelevant to their interests, and encourage greater friend or a Page, a photo, and so on. Whenever ainteractivity and time spent on Facebook. user interacts with an Object with comments, likes,Facebook has ensured that the News Feed only and tags, an “Edge” is created. The Rank of thedisplays a set of updates generated from certain “Edge”, i.e. the Edgerank, is thus determined byfriends or pages. Furthermore, these News Feed the` interaction frequency that a user has with aupdates only seem to be generated from the same friend’s each day. This interaction frequency comprises of three components - an a nity score between a viewing user and the edge creator, the weight given to a particular edge, and the time decay factor based on how long ago was the edge created. The a nity score between the user and the creator of the object will naturally be higher if the user interacts with the creator’s profile often. This includes checking the creator’s profile, leaving comments and likes, and sending Facebook messages. There is a measured “weight” of each Edge- for example, a comment carries more weight compared to a Like. Lastly, the older an Edge is, the less important this Edge will become. In short, an Object from a friend or a page Diagram 1: A Facebook “Edge” of Created is more likely to show up on your News Feed if a Content user has been interacting with them often recently. 2
  3. 3. trump over Likes as well, and all these willFurthermore, “popular” objects which many of significantly increase the weight of an Edge.your friends have been interacting with recentlywill also show up on your News Feed. Furthermore, times and dates matter to Facebook. The most recent updates will get more “prime time” on a News Feed compared toStrategic Observations about updates that happened in the past.Edgerank From this insight, a strategic observation isthat Edgerank clearly indicates the importance ofbringing Facebook users to a friend’s profile orp a g e re g u l a r l y to i n c re a s e v i s i b i l i t y a n dconsequently, the a nity score. Moreover, asFacebook favours interactivity, it is important toengage and encourage conversations on objects toincrease visibility on the News Feed. Thishighlights to Facebook that your Object isimportant when there are multiple interactionswith it. Another strategic observation is that“stalking” a particular profile or page does improvethe a nity score in Edgerank. The more yourprofile gets visited, the higher the Edgerankperformance of your profile, which subsequentlyincreases the propensity of your a nity score andensure that your updates hit the “Top News”stories in the Facebook News Feed. Furthermore, to increase exposure toFacebook users, the weight of the Edge needs tobe taken into serious consideration. Media such asPhotos and Videos are preferred to Links, andLinks are preferred to Status Updates. Comments 3
  4. 4. Maximising Edgerank forBrands(i) Quality of Fans (ii) Quality of Content While some brands view the numbers of No matter the original objective of“fans” that their brand’s fan page gets as of an establishing a brand’s presence on Facebook,absolute importance, a more precise indicator every brand would want to ensure that theirwould be the quality of fan interactions that a updates would receive maximum exposure andBrand’s fan page has on Facebook. There are sites coverage. To do that, the said brand needs to staywhich o er “Fan-buying” services for Facebook on top of the News Feed and have a constantlyFan Pages, but it is more important to attract high Edgerank with their fans. A Brand’s strategyquality fans ; rather than just the mere quantity of on Facebook is to consider every single fanthem. To ensure a continued quality of fans and a interaction as an opportunity to get insights fromstrong fan base even if the fan page was to their potential customers and learning more aboutdisappear one day is to ensure that the Page will them. Thus, to achieve a high Edgerank and aftercontinue to deliver upon the fan’s expectations of taking the formula into consideration, the goal is tothe Brand on the page, and to continually engage post content, polls, and questions that wouldwith them. In a way, the Edgerank is built upon a constantly engage with the fans connected to thecertain “Word-of-Mouth” component - with more brand. With a greater variety and engagementorganic likes and comments on Objects, the with fans, fans would leave more “likes” andobjects would have a higher propensity to appear comments on your brand’s Objects and thus, youron top of the News Feed, and subsequently brand’s fan page will get increased visibility andattracting more quality fans to participate and exposure on the News Feed. There would be aengage with the brand in a multiplier e ect. multiplier e ect as the News Feed will be more likely to show a popular Object which has been commented upon multiple times by mutual friends. 4
  5. 5. (iii) Timing It is also clear that timing plays a crucialrole in determining the maximum exposure foryour Brand’s object on the News Feed. Thereshould be a clear content strategy with a regularschedule which allows the brand to post content,such as status updates and photos, at least once ortwice a day. Posting back-to-back updates toooften will definitely hinder the ability to get certaincontent noticed by your fans, and the distributionof fans to post ratio will be uneven.Conclusion for Brands To f u l l y u n d e r s t a n d a n d m a x i m i s eEdgerank, brands must return to the objectives forestablishing a presence on Facebook. One of thekey ideas is to encourage fans to build a buzzaround the brand’s page, share it with their peers,enhance the value of the brand’s presence onFacebook, and pushing it to be a talking point ontop of the News Feeds. The presence of Edgerankis thus a clear indication that the power in makingor breaking a brand’s popularity and success onFacebook lies in the hands of the consumers, andnot solely the brand itself. 5
  6. 6. AppendixDiagram 2: Amplifying the Edgerank 6