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Understanding the Facebook Algorithm in 2024 + 11 Tips

April 23, 2024
Understanding the Facebook Algorithm

With over 3 billion active monthly users, Facebook is undeniably the king of social media platforms. Whether you are a new creator or an established influencer, understanding the Facebook algorithm is important to ensure that your content reaches this large and diverse user base.

Today, we’ll explain how the Facebook algorithm works and offer tips for working with the algorithm so you can enjoy significant brand growth in 2024.

What is the Facebook Algorithm?

The Facebook algorithm is a set of rules that the platform follows to determine the most relevant content for its users. This algorithm is based on different factors, such as content type, interests, demographics, and interactions; therefore, each user’s feed will be different.

In fact, even if two people have the exact same friends, groups, liked pages, and interests on Facebook, they will still have unique content on their feeds because of other factors like user activity, which is always unique.

How Does Facebook Algorithm Work in 2024?

The Facebook algorithm in 2024 works by delivering highly relevant and interesting content to improve user satisfaction.

Even Facebook’s updates in recent years were designed with this purpose in mind:

  • From 2018 to 2020, Facebook gradually introduced changes to its engagement and content rankings.
    • In 2018, the social media giant started prioritizing “Reactions” over traditional “Likes” on content, as the former gave a deeper insight into the users’ likes and dislikes on the platform.
    • In 2019, content from people or pages that a user interacted with the most was given priority on the feed.
    • In 2020, Facebook updated its algorithm to improve the distribution of credible news articles on the platform.
  • In 2021, Facebook revealed that its algorithm uses machine learning mechanics to make its content predictions.
  • In 2022, the platform started to shift its algorithm from machine learning to an AI-based system to improve predictions on the feed.
  • In 2023, the Facebook algorithm relied solely on an AI-powered system. This model is designed to adapt to the user’s activity on the platform to make more accurate predictions.

While there have been no updates to the algorithm yet this year, according to Facebook, the platform’s goal in 2024 is “to make sure you see posts … that you find valuable, whether that content comes from people you’re already connected to or from those you may not yet know.”

To achieve this, the Facebook algorithm uses a four-step process to rank the content that appears on each user’s feed.

Let’s go over them below.

#1. Inventory

First, the Facebook algorithm creates an inventory of all the available content on the platform.

The content is divided into three categories:

  • Connected content. This content comes from the user’s liked pages and the people and Facebook groups they are connected to.
  • Recommended content. This content comes from Facebook and is what they think is relevant or interesting to the user. It shows up as “Suggested For You” or “Pages You May Like” content on the feed.
  • Advertisements. Unlike the previous two categories, Facebook’s algorithm does not determine this content but rather the targeting strategies of the advertisers.

#2. Signals

Next, the algorithm uses signals to determine how relevant each piece of content is. While there are thousands of signals that Facebook considers, the most important ones are:

  • Who posted the content?
  • What type of content is it?
  • When was it posted?

For instance, if a user interacts with video content more than other content formats on the platform, they will likely see more videos on their feed. The Facebook algorithm also looks at a user’s activity during their active hours to determine what topics and content they want to see on the platform.

Other ranking signals that the algorithm considers are how interesting the post is and how likely users will interact with it. Original and high-quality content with greater chances of generating meaningful interactions and reactions will rank higher on the feed.

#3. Predictions

The Facebook algorithm then uses these signals to predict what each user would want to see on their feed based on their previous activity on the platform.

For instance, Facebook Pages give out “Top Fan” badges to users who regularly visit and engage with their page. If a user is a “Top Fan” of a certain page, it shows the algorithm that they are interested in and frequently interact with the page’s posts, so their content would take priority in feed rankings.

#4. Relevancy

Finally, the algorithm scores each piece of content based on its relevance. The higher the score, the better its ranking on a user’s feed. Connected content usually ranks better than other types of content, but this type can be limited.

So, to avoid showing the same content type or posts from the same creator consecutively, the algorithm also adds recommended content.

User Input

In addition to the algorithm, users can also influence the content on their feed through personal input. This can be done through “Favorites” or in-feed customization.

To add a person or page to Favorites, click on the 3-dot icon on the upper right corner of each post and tap “Add (name) to Favorites.” Doing so will prioritize their content in the feed. The same 3-dot icon provides options to snooze content from the user for 30 days or hide the post or all content from the user completely.

Facebook also has “Show more” and “Show less” buttons, which tell the algorithm what type of content you want to see more (and less) of to help them tailor the feed to your preferences. These options are available for Facebook ads as well, so you can control what brands and ads show up on your feed.

How Does Facebook Algorithm Work

Facebook Feed Over Time

Trends in social media and audience behavior can rapidly change over time. As the platform develops to accommodate its users’ demands, the algorithm also adapts to deliver personalized content continuously.

Before diving into how Facebook updated its algorithm in 2024, let’s take a look at some of the most impactful updates that the platform has had in recent years:

  • Facebook Stories and Reels update. The introduction of Stories in 2017 and Reels in 2021 is Facebook’s attempt to improve audience reach and engagement on the platform. Unlike traditional Facebook videos, these new content formats are shorter and more visible on the feed.
  • “Meaningful interactions” update. In 2018, Facebook started prioritizing more meaningful interactions on the platform. This helps the algorithm predict how a user will interact with certain posts and rank content accordingly.
  • Video ranking update. In 2019, Facebook improved the visibility of high-quality and engaging videos on the feed to encourage creators to share more original and relevant content. Videos with a longer viewing duration are also boosted on the feed.
  • Favorites update. Facebook launched the Favorites feature in 2021 to help users customize the content they see on their feeds. Users can add up to 30 pages or people to their Favorites and filter their feed to show posts only from these sources.

Facebook Feed Algorithm in 2024

The Facebook Feed algorithm governs the content users see on the platform. It determines what content format, topics, pages, and people show up the most on a user’s feed based on their likes and activity.

But this doesn’t mean that you will only see content from pages you like and people you are already connected to—meaning the Facebook algorithm will also recommend content that is generally performing well and generating significant engagement on the platform to see if it’s interesting to the user.

In 2024, Facebook plans to implement the same AI-powered model it uses for Facebook Reels for the rest of the video content on the feed. This move, as part of the platform’s “technology roadmap, aims to deliver more engaging and relevant content to its users.

Facebook Reels Algorithm in 2024

The Facebook Reels algorithm works similarly to the feed algorithm; it learns the user’s interests based on how they interact with other posts. Aside from that, there are other factors that the Facebook algorithm considers when ranking reels.

These include:

  • Engagement. The algorithm prioritizes reels with higher engagement rates. It measures this by counting the number of users who viewed the reel, liked it, or clicked on it.
  • Watch time and time spent. Reels with a higher viewer percentage and watch time rank better than those with a lower performance.
  • Interest. The Facebook algorithm considers the reels that a user liked in the past when ranking content.
  • Video elements. The algorithm prioritizes reels that cover popular topics or use viral audio and effects on the platform.
  • Content quality. High-quality and original content performs better on reels than repurposed or reshared content. Following the media requirements for Reels gives your content a better chance of being shown on the feed.

The most notable update to the Reels algorithm was in 2022 when Facebook announced changes that aim to emulate TikTok’s algorithm by using AI to predict what content users would like based on their platform activity.

While Facebook has yet to announce its goals for reels in 2024, with social media’s unpredictability and the continued growth of rival platforms, we can expect them to roll out new updates soon.

Facebook reel updates 2024

10+ Expert Tips for Working With Facebook Algorithm in 2024

Now that you have a better understanding of how the Facebook algorithm works, it’s important to know how to leverage it in 2024 to optimize your content for this platform.

Keep the following tips in mind to help you navigate the algorithm better.

#1. Post Consistently

One of the reasons your content isn’t reaching your target audience is that there isn’t enough of it in the first place. Thousands of other pages post content every day, and if you only post once a week, chances are that the algorithm won’t include it in its inventory.

By following a consistent social media posting schedule, you can improve your visibility on the platform. But how often should you post on Facebook? We recommend posting at least once a day to keep your feed active.

While you can post more often, it’s still important to maintain the quality of your posts. Facebook prioritizes quality content in its ranking, and this can be challenging to achieve when posting multiple times a day.

#2. Evoke Emotional Responses

Aside from being original and high-quality, your content should evoke an emotional response in your audience. Content that triggers a strong reaction, like joy or empathy, garners more interactions, which can lead to higher visibility on the feed. After all, there’s a reason why posts about puppies always do well on Facebook.

When creating a post, use compelling visuals and creative storytelling to resonate deeply with your audience. By tapping into their emotions, you can connect with your audience and improve your content’s reach and impact on Facebook.

#3. Capitalize on the Trends

Capitalizing on Facebook trends can help boost your content’s visibility and engagement. As we discussed earlier, the Facebook algorithm may recommend generally popular content more often, as these generate great interactions. By following these trends, you ensure that your content stays relevant and interesting to the majority of users on the platform.

Additionally, researching the current trends on Facebook will give you an idea of what your target audience wants, which means you can tailor your content accordingly and attract new followers.

#4. Understand Your Audience

The Facebook algorithm’s main goal is to connect users with highly relevant and informative content. So, to ensure that your posts rank well, it’s important to have a solid understanding of your main demographic on the platform.

Ask yourself:

  • Why do they use Facebook?
  • What type of content do they interact with the most?
  • What topics are relevant or interesting to them?

If you’re a business trying to promote your products and services on Facebook, knowing the answers to these questions will help you captivate your followers and convert them into customers.

#5. Post at the Right Time

The key to better content visibility is knowing when to post on Facebook. Don’t just post content when it’s convenient for you, but rather when your audience is most active. Otherwise, you may not get the views and engagements you expect, regardless of how interesting and high-quality the content is.

For instance, even if the Facebook algorithm shows your content at the top of the feed if your audience isn’t on the platform during that time, they won’t be able to see it. By the time they go online, your post will likely have gone down in ranking.

A great way to target peak hours on Facebook is to use an automatic scheduling platform like Publer. Our tool lets you create posts in advance and schedule them to go live at a later date so you can easily publish content when your audience is active. This can be crucial for brands with an international audience or a demographic in a different time zone.

#6. Optimize Your Content

Optimize your posts by adding relevant hashtags. This will help the algorithm connect your content with users who are genuinely interested in those topics. That said, avoid overdoing hashtag placements, as this can overwhelm users. Instead, focus on using the appropriate keywords in your captions to give context to your post.

You can also end your post with a CTA or an open-ended question to encourage users to leave a comment and interact with your content.

For instance, if the post is a how-to video of your product, you can end the post by asking the audience what other products they want you to feature in a how-to video. This not only generates engagement with your post but also gives you an idea of the topics and content your audience is interested in.

#7. Monitor Analytics

Tracking your content’s performance on Facebook is crucial for the success of your social media marketing efforts. Main Facebook algorithm issues that creators experience, such as low views and engagement rates, or negative Facebook reviews, can actually be effectively addressed by adjusting their strategy based on Facebook analytics.

Review your recent top-performing posts and check for any common factors between them, such as posting time, content type, caption, or topic. Then, conduct experiments to determine what contributed to its success, and use the same formula for your other posts.

#8. Try Different Content Formats

Seeing the same content types on the feed can be boring, so it’s important to create variety in your posts. Even if your high-ranking posts are mostly video content, switch things up every now and then with a text or image post to keep your audience engaged. One way to do this easily is by scheduling Facebook posts.

With Publer’s scheduling tool, you can see all your content on a unified calendar, so you won’t have to worry about posting similar content formats or topics consecutively.

#9. Encourage Interactions

The Facebook algorithm prioritizes meaningful interactions when ranking content. This means any content that prompts the user to stop scrolling and interact with it will have a higher ranking on the feed. You can achieve this by creating engaging posts that foster interactions among users. The more discourse and reactions your content provokes, the better its visibility will be.

#10. Avoid Clickbait Posts

That said, the Facebook algorithm doesn’t recognize engagements and interactions on clickbait posts, and you may even be penalized for sharing this kind of content. Clickbait posts exaggerate claims in their content to encourage users to click or interact with them but then fail to deliver.

While these posts can initially attract clicks and engagement, they often lead to negative feedback, which can decrease your content’s visibility on the platform.

Rather than relying on baits, focus on creating quality and value-dense content. Make sure your captions accurately represent the rest of your content to gain genuine interactions. Avoiding clickbait posts also helps you build trust with your audience and acquire new followers who are actually interested in your content.

#11. Follow Facebook’s Community Standards

Publishing content that violates the platform’s Community Standards, like clickbait posts and fake news, can land you in Facebook jail.

When this happens, users won’t be able to interact with your content, and you will be temporarily restricted from posting, which can significantly lower your reach. Repeat offenses can even lead to your account being banned, so always follow these guidelines when making your content.

Key Takeaways

  • The Facebook algorithm is a system that helps determine which content is most relevant and interesting to each user on the platform.
  • The Facebook algorithm follows four steps when ranking content on the feed: taking inventory, checking signals, making predictions, and determining relevance. However, users can still change this by making Favorites and snoozing or hiding specific content.
  • Since 2018, Facebook has continuously updated its algorithm to provide tailored content to each user. This included changes to the algorithm’s foundation and content distribution.
  • The Facebook Feed has undergone several impactful updates in the last seven years. The most notable ones are the introduction of new content formats, the prioritization of meaningful interactions and original content, and the launch of the Favorites feature.
  • The Facebook Feed algorithm in 2024 values users’ likes and activity on the platform highly when ranking content.
  • The Facebook Reels algorithm in 2024 ranks content based on the video’s level of engagement and interest. The quality of the content and its watch time are also important factors to consider.
  • To ensure that your content ranks well, consistently post quality and engaging content that appeals to your target market. Leverage analytics to gain a deeper understanding of your audience, and use this information to determine when and what to post. Lastly, always follow the Facebook Community Standards to avoid violations.

Facebook Algorithm FAQ

#1. Can you beat Facebook’s algorithm?

You can’t actually “beat” the Facebook algorithm, but there are plenty of ways to improve your content’s ranking on the platform organically. The most effective way to do so is by consistently posting original and high-quality content that’s relevant to your target audience.

#2. How to reset the Facebook algorithm?

Users can gradually reset their Facebook algorithm by hiding content that they dislike on the platform and actively liking content they are interested in.

To do so, go to Settings, scroll down to Preferences, and tap News Feed. Here, you can add people or Pages to your Favorites or snooze their account. You can also reduce the appearance of low-quality, sensitive, and unoriginal content on your feed.

#3. What words should I avoid when working with the Facebook algorithm?

There are no specific words to avoid when working with the Facebook algorithm, but there are general content guidelines that you should follow, such as avoiding language that can come off as a threat, harassment, bullying, or a slur.

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