First of all, it’s not called Edgerank anymore, it’s the Facebook News Feed Algorithm (not quite as catchy) Lars Backstrom, Facebook blogger, told Marketing Land that the term has in fact been internally redundant for around two and a half years now.
The Edgerank formula used to be made up of three features:
Affinity – A score made up by how much affinity there is between the content creator and the content viewer; this was measured by engagement with posts (Likes, comments, shares and clicks of any kind).
Weight – How connected the user is to the piece of content they are presented with, are they tagged in an image? Are very many of their friends tagged? Is the content relevant to many friends the user has high affinity with?
Time Decay – How long ago the content was posted.
Facebook has now announced ‘A better way to surface older stories’, an element that seems to be counter-intuitive to the third factor of the original Edgerank Algorithm.
The full run-down can be found on the first of the new Facebook News Feed FYI blog posts which were launched 18 hours ago (from the time of writing this article) as a result of the many brands and users asking them to be more transparent with their algorithms and highlight major updates.
The new update dictates that organic stories that have not been viewed by a user now have the chance to be rediscovered at a later date/time.
Facebook realised that people were not scrolling down far enough on their News Feeds to see all the posts their algorithm was presenting them with, in fact, on average, only 57% of stories were being read per visit.
With the new update, users are now presented with posts they ‘want to see’ by offering older posts that are heavy on the first two original Edgerank features (Affinity and Weight) on a later visit to the site.
In terms of Facebook marketing, the first point that needs to be addressed is that of advertising and Facebook has made it clear that the update does not affect paid posts.
Secondly, Facebook does mention in a blog post that:
‘For Page owners, this means their most popular organic Page posts have a higher chance of being shown to more people, even if they’re more than a few hours old’.
This is a positive indicator in terms of ramping up the potential power Facebook can wield for your brand. Your posts are now going to gain far more reach (the extent of which remains to be seen) for free!
This is step forward for Facebook and should be another convincing factor when it comes to boardroom buy-in regarding the use of social media.