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Facebook algorithm: how is your content seen on the newsfeed?

Have you ever wondered why you frequently see posts from people you interact with often, such as liking, commenting, or sharing their content?

Alternatively, suppose you’ve engaged with a lot of cat-related content—liking cat photos, watching cat videos, or joining cat-related groups. In that case, your feed is more likely to be populated with content related to cats, including videos, posts, and images.

This is the Meta algorithm, often called the Facebook algorithm. In this blog, Influence will help you explore how it works on your newsfeed.

What is the Facebook Algorithm?

Facebook’s algorithm determines the content on a user’s News Feed. It arranges content in a descending, non-chronological order from various sources, including the feed, Search, Marketplace, Groups, and Watch.

This algorithm considers multiple factors, tailoring content to each user based on what it considers most relevant and engaging.

How has Facebook algorithm changed from 2018 to now?

Since 2017, Facebook has been significantly working on how it decides what shows up on your feed. They’re aiming for more “meaningful interactions.”

Facebook Algorithm 2018: Meaningful interactions update

The update aimed to prioritize content that promotes meaningful user interactions and engagement. Facebook aimed to enhance the quality of user interactions by showing posts that are more likely to inspire conversations.

Instead of focusing only on the number of likes or clicks, the update prioritized content users found personally meaningful. This shift was intended to create a more positive and engaging user experience.

The algorithm considered content encouraging users to interact with their friends, recognizing the importance of personal connections in the user experience.

Facebook Algorithm 2019

Updates to Video Rankings

The Updates to Video Rankings in 2019 were designed to enhance the visibility of videos on Facebook by prioritizing content that users actively looked for, engaged with for a significant duration, and was original content.

  • User-seeking behavior: The algorithm started giving more importance to videos users actively looked for and chose to watch.
  • Watch time: Videos that held users’ attention for a longer duration, specifically those watched for more than one minute, were given higher priority. This change encouraged the promotion of videos that were engaging and retained viewer interest.
  • Original content: The algorithm favored original video content over duplicated or copied material. This encouraged content creators to share unique and creative videos on the platform.

The goal was to provide a more personalized and enjoyable video-watching experience for users.

Addressing Sensational Health Claims

The “Addressing Sensational Health Claims (2019)” update was a modification to Facebook’s algorithm designed to tackle misinformation related to health on the platform. 

This update extended some existing rules, often used to identify and reduce clickbait, to posts that made medical or health claims.

Facebook Algorithm 2020: Why am I seeing this ad and “Ad Preferences” 

In 2020, Facebook changed how it picks what you see on Facebook Feed. The platform aimed to display more reliable news and customized ads tailored to user interactions. They also made updates to follow the privacy rules set by Apple’s iOS 14.

Prioritizing original sources:

In response to user preferences for credible and informative news, Facebook announced ongoing updates to prioritize articles in the News Feed that are identified as original reporting on developing stories or topics.

Personalized ads: 

Facebook Ad Services in a user’s Feed are tailored based on past interactions with posts and pages. Businesses can choose whether or not to share information about user actions on their websites and apps with Facebook.

For example, if you often click on posts about cooking, you might see more ads for kitchen tools or recipes. This way, Facebook tries to show you ads that match your interests. 

They also added features like “Why am I seeing this ad” and “Ad Preferences” to help you understand and control the ads you see.

Retargeting limitations (Apple iOS 14 update):

With the release of the Apple iOS 14 update in 2020, users are prompted to choose whether to opt in or opt out of data sharing.

In response to this update, Facebook has limitations on retargeting based on device-level data, such as email addresses and phone numbers. Targeting now depends on user consent for data sharing at the device level.

Facebook Algorithm 2021: User control

January 2023, Facebook officially announced its rebranding to Meta on October 28, 2021. In this year, Meta introduced a ” Favorites ” tool to give users more control over their News Feed. 

This feature lets users select up to 30 friends and pages, prioritizing their posts. This means the chosen posts will be prominent and appear at the top of the News Feed.

For the first time, Meta explained how it uses machine learning to figure out what shows up in your Feed. It looks at things like who and what you’ve recently followed, liked, or interacted with. These methods are still mostly the way things work today.

Facebook Algorithm 2022: From ML to AI

Facebook algorithm in 2022 got even smarter with its algorithm. Instead of just using regular machine learning, they upgraded to fancier artificial intelligence (AI) systems. This means they can understand and respond to what you like and want to see on your feed even better.

A cool new feature they added in 2022 is “Show More/Show Less.” Now, when you use Facebook, you get to have a say in what shows up in your News Feed. 

If you hit “Show More” on a post, Facebook will think you want more of that kind of stuff and show similar things. If you pick “Show Less,” it’ll understand you’re not into that and show less of it.

Why is this important? Well, Meta wants to hear directly from you to make its AI systems super smart and responsive to your preferences.

Facebook’s AI also does some work with user and content embeddings. It’s like they’re creating a personal taste profile for you (user embedding) and understanding what each post is about (content embedding). This helps them predict what you’d like to see more or less of in your Feed.

How does the Facebook Algorithm 2023 work?

In 2023, Meta aims to improve user experience by providing what users desire. According to a June 2023 article about feed ranking, the Facebook Algorithm generally operates through a process that includes four ranking factors: inventory, signals, predictions, and relevancy scoring.

  • Inventory

Facebook gathers all the content that might appear on your Feed. This includes posts from your friends, content from the Pages you’ve chosen to follow, and information from the groups you’re a part of.

  • Signals

The algorithm looks at different things to decide what to show you. It checks who posted something and how often you interact with them. Likes, comments, and shares also matter, as well as your past actions and preferences on the platform.

It also considers when the post was made and what time it is for you. The goal is to figure out if the content is relevant based on what it’s about and your typical behavior.

  • Predictions

The algorithm uses machine learning and predictive modeling to forecast how likely a user is to engage with a particular piece of content. This involves analyzing historical data and user behavior patterns to anticipate the content most relevant and interesting to a user.

For instance, if you engage with a person, the Facebook algorithm will assume you want to see more posts from them. Similarly, if you consistently watch and engage with videos from a Page about animals, the algorithm will recognize your preference for videos from that Page and your interest in the topic.

  • Relevance

This score determines the order in which content appears in a user’s News Feed. Higher-scoring content is more likely to be shown, ensuring users see posts that align with their interests and preferences.

5 tips for working with Facebook algorithm

Know your audience.

When Facebook says it prioritizes content that is “meaningful and informative,” it means the platform wants to show you posts that are important and interesting.

  • Meaningful

Meaningful content is what users find worth discussing or watching based on their past behavior, with overall engagement also considered.

  • Informative

Informative content is something that a user finds fresh and interesting, providing users with valuable information that adds to their knowledge or understanding of various topics.

If you want your content to be at the top of your audience’s feed, you have to know your audience, and that involves doing some research on them.

Connect with Influence, the leading agency in Cambodia, offering market research and analysis solutions to understand your audience better and create more engaging content.


Email: [email protected]

Phone: (+855)67740000

Address: KVBC, St. Keo Chenda, Chroy Changva, Phnom Penh

Authentic content creation.

According to Facebook, ‘people on Facebook value accurate, authentic content,’ and content that is ‘considered genuine’ will rank higher in the algorithm, while content deemed ‘misleading, sensational, and spammy’ will be ranked the lowest.

To signal the algorithm that your content is accurate and authentic, Influence gives you these tips:

  • Clear headlines: Clearly describe what users will find in your post. Feel free to get creative, but avoid using clickbait or misleading titles.
  • Be truthful: Keep it simple and truthful.

Interact with your audience. 

Engaging with your audience on Facebook is crucial because the Facebook algorithm prioritizes posts from Pages that users have had meaningful interactions with in the past. 

When you respond to audience comments, it not only acknowledges their engagement but also contributes to building a connection. 

The algorithm recognizes these interactions as meaningful, increasing the likelihood of your future posts being shown to that user. In essence, active engagement with your audience not only fosters a sense of community but also enhances the visibility of your content on their feeds.

Optimize your posting time.

The Facebook Algorithm is adept at ensuring your content reaches people, even if they weren’t online when it was posted. A key thing to consider when looking at your post is how much people interact with it. This is more likely to happen when you post during times when more of your audience is active.

So, when you choose the right time to post, it really increases the chance that your post will be seen by more people, including those who aren’t online when you post! 

If you schedule your posts when your target audience is usually online, it is more likely that your content will show up a lot on their newsfeeds. This makes more people interact with it and see it.

See more about the best time to post on Facebook.

Encouraging your audience to engage with each other

Encouraging your audience to engage with each other is crucial for achieving a high rank on the newsfeed. 

When your audience shares your content and actively discusses it with their friends, it signals to the algorithm that your content is relevant and has meaningful interactions. 

According to Facebook, when a post generates substantial conversation among a user’s friends, the algorithm employs “action-bumping logic.” This means that the algorithm recognizes the post as sparking meaningful interactions and decides to show it to the user again.

Local content

Local content has started to trend higher than national content on Facebook because the Facebook Algorithm prioritizes building meaningful interactions among users.

When people engage more with content that is relevant to their local communities, it fosters a stronger sense of connection and engagement. 

Therefore, Facebook prefers local content as it often generates more meaningful conversations and interactions among users.

Facebook algorithm FAQs

how to reset the Facebook algorithm

Here’s a simplified breakdown

Adjust Feed Preferences

  • Click your profile picture and select “Settings and privacy” > “Feed.”
  • Make immediate changes to your Facebook algorithm.
  • Add favorite people and brands to see more content from them.
  • Snooze for a temporary break.
  • Unfollow to stop seeing content but stay connected.
  • Reconnect with those you’ve unfollowed.

Manage Ad Preferences:

  • Go back to “Settings and privacy,” then click “Settings.”
  • Click “Ads” in the left menu.
  • Visit “Ad Topics” to review and modify the topics you want to see more or less of in Facebook ads.

These steps give users some control over the content they see in their feed and the topics they encounter in ads. Remember that while these actions can influence your experience, the overall algorithm will still adapt based on your ongoing interactions.