October 1, 2020

Brand, Media & Advertising

How does Facebook news feed work? A secret of a billion-dollar business.

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A closer look at the Facebook newsfeed mechanism

Facebook was worth $475 billion as per the fortune 500 2019 list and it was the 6th most valuable brand in the world. Have you ever thought about what makes Facebook a social media giant? It’s the no. of users across the world more than 2.5 billion monthly active users. Let me come straight to the point how does Facebook make so much money, the answer is pretty simple through advertising “the sponsored post” which you see on your news feed while scrolling. Now, let me explain how does Facebook newsfeed or simply feed work.

Everything that you see on Facebook from your friends, family & businesses we care about is driven by the Facebook algorithm (code based set of instructions/rules) that Facebook uses to show you what is most relevant for you on the feed. How does Facebook know what’s relevant for me and millions of other users?

Facebook tries its best to show us stories we care about and matters most to us. Facebook uses a tool called ranking a set of algorithms using AI and machine learning to show each and every content on your newsfeed you would probably engage (like, comments and share) with.

There are 3 very important steps in the algorithm 1. Inventory which is all the available stories that you could see on any given day but you have not seen 2. Signals all the information that Facebook has like how old the story is, who posted it and how many times you have engaged with the stories of that person or page in the past here engagement can be like, comments and share and many other signals 3. Prediction Facebook uses these engagement signals in the form of data points and tries to show content from people or pages you are most likely to like, comments and share.

It’s after considering dozens of signals and predictions facebook calculate a relevancy score for every story to rank which story would appear first and so on. I have more than 500 friends on Facebook and follow more than 50 pages but I don’t see stories from all 500 friends and pages and I only see what matters most to me.