As a result of quite a lot of confusion over the Facebook newsfeed and how Facebook chooses what posts and content appear in your newsfeed, we explain all, simply, in this FAQ.
A number of posts claim that Facebook has “a new algorithm” or has updated its algorithm, and that Facebook now “chooses your friends”, or that you need to type “hi” on a post so you still see posts from your friends instead of what Facebook chooses for you. These posts are misleading and inaccurate.
How does Facebook choose what appears on my newsfeed?
This is the big question. Facebook takes in plenty of factors when choosing what stories appear in your newsfeed. These can include…
– How often you interact with a particular person or page. People and pages you interact with frequently are more likely to appear in your newsfeed more often.
– The type of stories. Videos and live streaming are generally given a higher chance of reaching newsfeeds of friends. The same applies to posts announcing big events, such an engagements.
– How must interaction a post has accumulated. Facebook likes interaction, so if a friend posts an update that gets lots of engagement from their friends, it will reach even more friends.
– How much interaction from mutual friends a post accumulates. Facebook also takes into consideration how many mutual friends have engaged with a post.
– Competition. Stories are competing with each other to appear in a user’s newsfeed. If competition is low at a particular point, it is easier for stories to reach a newsfeed.
These are only a few factors that Facebook uses to decide what appears in a particular user’s newsfeed. There are plenty of other things taken into consideration, but no one knows exactly how Facebook’s algorithms work.
So I don’t see everything in my newsfeed?
No. These days, the average Facebook user has hundreds of friends and has followed hundreds of pages. That’s a lot of content being posted all the time, all wanting to appear in your newsfeed. As such, Facebook tries to pick the “best” content it thinks you’d like to see based on the factors (and others) we’ve highlighted above.
Is any of this because of a “new algorithm” or an update to their algorithms?
No. Despite what some rumours online say, it’s always been like this since the very early days of Facebook. Facebook is always making changes to their algorithms and fine-tuning them, but they have always filtered the newsfeed by default to pick the stories they think will be the most interesting to you.
Does Facebook have a limit on how many friends can appear on my newsfeed?
Not really. As we say above, content is always competing to appear in your newsfeed, and if you have hundreds of friends and follow hundreds of pages, then it is unlikely that all of them are going to make your newsfeed at any one time since there is only a finite amount of space.
But this doesn’t mean Facebook are placing some kind of arbitrary limit on how many of your friends can appear in your newsfeed. We’ve heard some rumours that claim Facebook limit your newsfeed to 25 friends, which is nonsense.
The reality is that only a certain number of friends and posts that can appear in your newsfeed at any one time, and those are the ones Facebook’s algorithms have picked because they think they’ll be the most interesting to you at that point in time.
Does typing “hi” or commenting on a post published by a friend do anything?
Very little. Probably nothing.
We’ve seen tons of posts imploring readers to comment “hi” otherwise Facebook will “choose your friends” and other nonsense. These posts are all silly.
Firstly, if you stumbled across a post like this that was posted by a friend, then you probably saw it in your newsfeed anyway. That means the posts published by that friend are already appearing in your newsfeed, so the request to type “hi” to “see my posts” is quite pointless.
Secondly, while Facebook does factor in how often you interact with someone on Facebook, typing “hi” on a post that requests you do so will have little-to-no- effect. Facebook prefers organic, natural and frequent engagement, and asking people to comment on a post doesn’t qualify. In fact, it’s considered “engagement baiting”, which can be penalised by Facebook. This Means it could have the opposite effect. So if you’re a page admin looking to increase your reach, publishing these posts is a definite no-no.
What happens if I don’t interact with anyone on Facebook?
If you don’t comment, like or share on any content posted by friends or pages, then Facebook will simply use other factors to decide what appears on your newsfeed that we pointed out above. This can include how much engagement your friend’s posts get, how many mutual friends engage with posts and what type of content it is.
So Facebook won’t “choose my friends”?
Despite what rumours say, failing to comment on your friends posts doesn’t mean Facebook will “choose your friends”. It just means Facebook uses other factors when deciding what content they think you’ll find more interesting.
Can I exercise more control over my Facebook newsfeed?
There are some things you can do to get a little bit more control over your newsfeed. We outline them in this article here.