The first thing you see when you log into Facebook is what is called your News Feed. This is the stream of posts from your friends and their friends.
It’s filled with inspirational quotes, funny videos, photos and more. It’s generally here that you’ll comment, like and click to read some of the linked blog posts. It’s this stream where we digitally socialize with our friends. Comment and reply back and forth. It’s kind of the conversation we might be having if we were all sitting together in a coffee shop.
Speaking of coffee shops, have you ever found yourself talking to a friend and they mention something about a mutual friend on Facebook but somehow you missed it? You think to yourself, “I’m on Facebook everyday, how did I miss that?”.
WHY DIDN’T I SEE THAT?
The News Feed has a few tricks you might not be aware of.
First of all, there are two settings you can make in your news feed. On a desktop, if you hover over the top of the news feed label you’ll see a drop down, click on that and you’ll the two options. They are Top Stories and Most Recent.
I’m going to start with the Most Recent setting because it’s the simplest. It’s just as it sounds.
If you set your News Feed to Most Recent you’ll see everything as it happens from ALL of your friends.
The average person on Facebook has 130+ friends. That creates an issue for some people. With this setting in the morning you might see 10 different friends pictures of their Pumpkin Spice Lattes with their mis spelled names. You’ll also see every “I hate Mondays” post, every shared inspirational message, and so on.
But, if you log in just in the morning, the important posts that happened late in the day will be buried deep under all these morning posts. You’ll have to scroll, scroll, scroll to find them.
Facebook knows we don’t LIKE to scroll. That’s why Facebook made the “Top Stories” setting the default. If you’ve never changed it, your news feed is probably set to “Top Stories”.
Top Stories is Facebook’s way of trying to get the most important stories to the top of your news feed automatically. It’s an algorithm that attempts to figure out what is relative and what is mundane droll. Facebook calls this algorithm EdgeRank.
When determining how a particular post should rank, Facebook looks at a few different elements.
- Affinity Score
- Edge Weight
- Time Decay
Affinity Score: This is determined by how close you are to the person who posted the original item. Between you and this person – how close are the two of you? Do you LIKE the same things? Do you have similar friends? Do you like / comment on the same stuff? That builds the affinity (between the two of you).
Edge Weight: Different kinds of posts carry a different weight. A simple text, “I hate Mondays!” might carry the lightest weight while pictures and videos carry the highest weight. Another factor is the popularity of an item. If I adopt a new Siberian Husky Puppy and share that picture you can bet it’ll be mighty popular. That popularity of likes and comments also adds to the weight of the post.
Time Decay: New posts are better than older posts. If you didn’t see my puppy picture last week – it’s old news in Facebook’s eyes. The freshness of posts is important to EdgeRank.
EdgeRank is a combination of these three factors and a few more.
Hopefully now, you can now switch between the two different feeds and now why you might want to.
THERE’S A BETTER WAY
Once you have this down it’s time for a better way. It’s called LISTS. You can segment your friends into smaller sized lists. In this way I can check out what’s happening with just my Motorcycle Buddies, or my Mountain Bike Guys, or my favorite clients.
NOTE: I have a friend who tested this EdgeRank thing out by not LIKING anything on Facebook. She wanted to see what effect it had on what showed up in her News Feed.