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Ever Wonder Why I Show Up in Your News Feed?

July 28, 2010

If you just saw this message on Facebook, you’re probably not alone in wondering. “Why does this guy (or girl) always show up in my News Feed?”

How come I never see anything from my friend from second grade, but the girl I friended last week keeps showing up?

If you’re curious, stick around. This post will give you a quick rundown of how this happens (no technical jargon, I promise)

Facebook’s News Feed is based on a system they call “Edgerank”.

Edgerank is an algorithm that tallies all of your activities on Facebook.

Similar to Google’s search algorithm (whose goal is to give you the most relevant search information); Facebook’s goal is to provide you with the most relevant Friend information.

Think about it, the more interested you are in the people that show up in your News feed, the more often you are going to check back throughout the day to stay informed, entertained, or just because you have nothing better to do.

Facebook wants you to spend more of your day on their site than any other spot on the web.

As you know, more users + more time spent within = more advertising revenue. (and less for Google)

So here’s how Edgerank works:

Affinity score + weight – time decay = the guy that won’t get out of your news feed

Facebook assigns edge points each time you interact with someone in your network. An example of an interaction would be adding someone as a friend. By interacting with someone’s profile they receive a point assigned to their affinity score.

Each point is also given a weight depending on the interaction.

“Liking” someone’s status update doesn’t carry as much weight as making a comment. Again, writing on someone’s wall is a higher weight than when you make a comment.

And if you find yourself creeping through tons of photo albums…. yeah, Facebook counts those clicks too.

Over time these clicks lose some of their weight as your recent activity takes precedent.

Although the exact details of this formula are not published by Facebook, these are the general principles that make up your daily news feed.

Of course if someone is clouding up your Facebook feed you can always hide them 🙂

And if you’re one of those people who complains about the dumb stuff people post on Facebook, well… now ya know.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2010 1:27 pm

    Wow! I did not know that! Thanks for the insight buddy!

    Do the points go both ways? For example, if I friend someone, do they get a point and I get a point so we will both be more likely to show on each other’s newsfeed or does just the person doing the interacting “assign” points?

    Did I just make that clear as mud?

  2. August 2, 2010 3:29 pm

    I think the other person accepting a friend request it would go both ways.

    Not sure if one person score increases more than the other, but it would make sense that if you ask to be someone’s friend it would be a higher point weight than if you just hit accept.

    Either way, we’re over due for a chat and we’re not friend on Facebook… let’s test it out.

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