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Unpacking the Facebook newsfeed algorithm


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Facebook is a powerful form of media for organisations seeking to engage with the public. There are two billion people on the platform worldwide and 40 million adults in the UK.

More than 1,000 signals make up how the Facebook newsfeed algorithm serves 300 stories each day. It’s important for public relations practitioners to have a rudimentary understanding of how the algorithm works.

Published in: Business
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Unpacking the Facebook newsfeed algorithm

  1. 1. Unpacking the Facebook newsfeed 1 • What’s happening with Facebook? • How stories are being pushed around the newsfeed • What to do when you get back to the office
  2. 2. Newsfeed in numbers 40 million users in the UK 1,000 variables make up newsfeed Users see 300 posts per day 2
  3. 3. Source: Fake News Inquiry, Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (15 September, 2017) Select Committee Fake News Inquiry 3
  4. 4. Newsfeed algorithm update 4 Source: Facebook newsfeed announcement (19 January, 2018)
  5. 5. Brand paradox: pay to play 5
  6. 6. Groups versus Brand Page 6 Group Brand Page A community space for small group communication and for people to share their common interests and express their opinion Enables public figures, businesses, organisations and other entities to create an authentic and public presence on Facebook
  7. 7. Pareto principle 7
  8. 8. Stories promoted 8 • Affinity: friends, family and close friends • Engagement: post bounce driven by reaction, comment and shares • User generated content: events, recommendations, reviews and check-in • User choice: stories so compelling people opt in • Video: Facebook wants to be an entertainment platform
  9. 9. Stories promoted 9 Source: Facebook newsfeed webinar for publishers (February, 2018)
  10. 10. Stories pushed down • Negative user signals • Clickbait and spam • External links to low value content 10
  11. 11. Stories pushed down 11 Source: Facebook newsfeed webinar for publishers (February, 2018)
  12. 12. Pay to play: budget against goals 12
  13. 13. Groups: listening and conversation 13
  14. 14. Your brand page data: test and learn 14
  15. 15. When you get back to the office 15 • Budget against your business goals • Explore groups: listening and conversation • Investigate brand page data: test and learn