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Uncovering Facebook’s Algorithm: 8 Articles You Must Read

Understanding the secret to Facebook’s algorithm is a practice that businesses in particular are striving to master. The algorithm changes what users see, from who they see it, and when they see it. Facebook is constantly changing its algorithm and recently deployed a design that favors friends and family posts over brand content. The eight articles presented below provide an explanation to the algorithm, explores post reach, and highlights best practices for business pages to stay afloat in News Feeds.

#1 Understanding Facebook’s News Feed

This Tech Direction article provides information on the algorithms used on Facebook's news feed. The author provides a brief overview of the EdgeRank algorithm used by Facebook which determines what users see in their news feed. Factors including affinity score, edge weight and time decay are explored. The author also highlights Facebook's initiative to cut down the proliferation of fake news in the social media site.

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#2 Newsfeed: Facebook, Filtering, and News Consumption

This Phi Kappa Phi Forum article explores the social impact of Facebook algorithms to public information. The author details how Facebook algorithms work, and presents criticisms on the Facebook algorithm, where lack of impartiality and objectivity of the system has been reported. The article explores Facebook's claim that the manipulation of news feeds is part of its effort to promote positive emotions towards its users.

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#3 Want to be on the top? Algorithmic power/ threat of invisibility

This article explores the new modalities of visibility engendered by new media, with a focus on Facebook. The author investigates the notion of mediated and constructed visibility through a close reading of the News Feed and its underlying operational logic. The article addresses some of the problems associated with understanding algorithmic power and provides some suggestions for further research.

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#4 Explaining the News Feed Algorithm

This article provides an analysis of Facebook's "News Feed FYI' blog series to better understand the degree to which Facebook employs how and why explanations of its News Feed algorithm. The authors' findings show that the "News Feed" FYI' blog posts focuses more on explanations that justify why the algorithm works the way it does, rather than how the system works. Nonetheless, an interesting look at the algorithm as described to users from the company itself.

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#5 The Algorithmic Imaginary

This article published in the Information, Communication and Society Journal discuses the situations and spaces where people and algorithms meet. Specifically, the author examines people's personal stories about the Facebook algorithm through tweets and interviews with ordinary users. The notion of the algorithmic imaginary is developed as a way of thinking about what algorithms are, what they should be and how they function.

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#6 Changes to Facebook News Feed and Tips on Managing them

This Dance Retailer News article presents suggestions from social media management company Hootsuite Inc. on how businesses should manage the News Feed on Facebook. The article was published in April 2018 following Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg's announcement on changes in the News Feed content. The change moved posts from friends and family up in the News Feed, over brands and business posts.

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#7 Everything you need to know about Facebook’s EdgeRank

This article explains Facebook's EdgeRank, which is the name given to the algorithm that the platform uses to determine what articles should be displayed in a users News Feed. The author highlights each aspect of EdgeRank, which includes three primary components: affinity, weight, and time decay. An explanation is provided on EdgeRank and its effect on users and businesses.

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#8 The Facebook Algorithm Demystified

This article explains how the Facebook algorithm works, and how marketers can optimize their posts for maximum news feed visibility. It provides an inside look at how Facebook prioritizes content and some of the specific signals that will effect content ranking. The author highlights the importance of creating content that is relevant, valuable, and interesting for target audiences.

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