EdgeRank Can Make You Invisible on Facebook

EdgeRank

Google has its PageRank, and Facebook has EdgeRank.  If you’re using Facebook to market your product or service, some knowledge about EdgeRank can be helpful, so that your posts on Facebook will be seen by your friends.

Why EdgeRank?

If your Facebook newsfeed showed all possible stories from all your friends, you’d be overwhelmed.  So FaceBook uses a formula to decide which stories appear in each user’s newsfeed. They show you the stories with highest EdgeRank.  If your posts on Facebook have low EdgeRank, very few people will see them, so you need to consider EdgeRank issues.  According to Facebook, they publish about .2% of the stories they consider.  That means that each user sees about 60 out of about 30,000 possible story candidates in a day.

In order to decide what to show you, Facebook considers whose profile pages you visit and how often, who you message and who messages you, which News Feed items you’ve clicked on in the past, and other factors about your behavior.  The success of their approach is demonstrated by the number of people who log in every day.
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How It Works

Facebook hasn’t disclosed the details of the formula for EdgeRank, and no doubt if they did disclose it the disclosure would soon be obsolete, since it’s constantly being changed.  Howeer, at a 2010 F8 developer conference, there was some discussion of the operation of EdgeRank.
If you have an object in your News Feed that you interact with, you create what Facebook calls an Edge.  The Edge has three parameters:
  1. It has an affinity score between the viewing user and the item’s creator.  If you send a lot of messages to the creator, then you’ll have a higher affinity score that for someone you never contact.
  2. Each type of Edge has a different weight.  One would expect a comment to have more weight than a like, for example.
  3. The older an Edge is, the less important it is.  So there is time decay of importance.
To calculate EdgeRank for an item, just multiply these three factors for each Edge and add up all the scores for the item

The Bottom Line

Publish content on Facebook that draws people in, that they want to interact with.  In addition, interacting with people you want to have see your posts is a good idea, perhaps even a message about an upcoming post to increase your affinity to that person.  In addition to your “message” posts you might consider occasionally sending a post that has no message, that is intended just to get people to interact with it.
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