Facebook Updates Their Timeline Algorithm

Facebook has improved their timeline, or rather, changed their news feed yet again. After the addition of Facebook hashtags, the company is again making moves to improve how people experience their site. This time they claim it’s ‘for the better’. This change is nothing to lose sleep over, but it is supposedly going to make brands timeline presence stronger. With this new update, posts that people might not have scrolled down far enough to see can now pop back up to the top of peoples timelines if the post is getting a lot of engagement.

Facebook News Feed

In general, Facebook’s goal is to make sure people are seeing what they would want to see. As you might have noticed, the updates in your timeline are not quite in chronological order. Facebook put an algorithm in place that gives each new update a score. These scores are based on certain factors from how well you know the poster to the number of likes, comments and shares the post has. This ranking system is what Facebook uses to determine what to display based on what they believe would be most relevant to you. With all the pictures, updates and videos constantly being shared, this ranking algorithm is supposed to prioritize the endless stream of information so the posts you want to see appear towards the top or your timeline. However, prior to this latest update, Facebook found that people were only scrolling through about 57% of the stories in their news feed, meaning 43% of updates were being missed.

Now Facebook is taking their ranking algorithm one step further by weighing popular posts more heavily and allowing those posts with more engagement to reappear near the top of the News Feed. After testing this new update, the amount of stories read increased to 70%.

Facebook said they also saw a 5% increase in the amount of likes, comments and shares on posts from friends and an 8% increase on posts from Pages after making the change. This tells us that now the ranking algorithm should do a better job of displaying posts people want to see, even if they might have missed it the first time around.

Facebook Like

So, what does this mean for my brand?

This is good news for Page owners because now popular posts have the opportunity to extend its reach and be seen by more people even if it’s an older post. If your brand’s post is seeing a lot of engagement, i.e. likes, comments and shares, it can reappear towards the top of consumers’ timelines that may not have initially seen it.

If not already, everyone will be experiencing the effects of the changes very quickly and this will also be rolled out on mobile apps soon. Have you noticed a difference in what’s appearing in your timeline? Let us know if you think Facebook’s algorithm is working for you in the comments section below.

  • Frieda Renkens

    Hi Sydny, does this also mean that once our company facebook page has posts that are hardly liked by our fans, it is extra hard to get on a new post on the time line of our fans again? What can we do to bypass this algorithm?

    • Sydny Layne

      Hi Frieda, thanks for the question. Since the algorithm is based on relevance, it depends on whether or not your Fans, or your Fan’s friends, interact with your posts and/or Page. If your posts receive a lot of engagement, it will likely be viewed as more relevant and has a better chance of appearing on Fan’s timelines. However, if your posts aren’t receiving any engagement, you may want to consider investing in promoted posts to extend the reach of your content. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Frieda Renkens

        Thank you for you reply.