Understanding Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm

Understanding Facebook’s EdgeRank Algorithm
March 24, 2013 Webmaster

facebooks-edgerank-algorithm

Edgerank simply refers to the Facebook algorithm designed to choose exactly which stories get to feature in each and every user’s newsfeed. This algorithm is called the edge simply because it ranks edges. One very interesting thing about this algorithm is the fact that it is able to hide all kinds of boring stories. This means that in case your story does not score well, chances are nobody will get to see it. It would be overwhelming if the newsfeed on Facebook showed all of the stories from your friends. This is actually why facebook has introduced this algorithm “the Edgerank” to help in identifying and predicting how interesting stories from your friends might be relevant to you (the facebook user).

As a facebook user, it is very important that you get to find out everything you can about the edgeranks. Doing so means you will be less likely to end up having your facebook fans failing to see your status updates. It is also very important to understand the fact facebook itself, with the help of this algorithm, scrutinizes all kinds of stories consequently ranking each in terms of relevance to your facebook fans. Stories that end up scoring the highest are ranked at the of users’ newsfeeds. However, in case the edgeranks makes a prediction that particular users are likely to find your updates rather not interesting or relevant then such an update is never featured in the newsfeeds of those particular users. 

It is believed that there might actually be two different types of algorithms, though this has not been proven. The first algorithm “edge rank” focuses on ranking stories while the second algorithm sorts the newsfeeds. The newsfeeds algorithm is characteristic of a randomization element as well as a keyword aggregator.

Generally, edgerank can be compared to a credit rating, it is important, it is unique and finally it is invisible to all users. In fact, very few if any facebook users are fully aware of how this algorithm operates. Edgerank comprises of three main sub components. These are the: Time decay, The edge weight and Affinity score

Affinity Score

This component mainly focuses on how connected individual users are connected to the edge. The more frequently you maintain contact with particular facebook users the higher your affinity score. This way facebook automatically knows that you are always interested in updates by such users who you are always in contact with. Facebook does affinity score calculations by focusing more on explicit actions [ such as clicking, liking, sharing, commenting, tagging etc] by users while at the same time taking into consideration factors such as:

  • The power of the users actions
  • The nature of the relation of you to the user responsible for particular actions
  • The time different the actions in question took place.

Take note that the affinity score not only measures your actions but is also able to gauge the actions of your friends amongst other things.

Edge Weight

Each and every category of edges has its own unique default weight. In fact, every action that users take ends up creating an edge. All of those edges except for clicks tend to generate very potential stories. This simply means that by default, you stand are most likely to see stories about your fans commenting on different stories rather than a story about fans liking stories.
Good or bad thing is, facebook is in complete control of the algorithm hence it is able to automatically adjust the edge weight in order to bring out only the stories that you as a user will find most interesting to engage in. a good example is: photo updates tend to weigh more than links.

Time Decay

As stories on your news feed get old they equally tend to lose points. Since edgerank is a continuously running score, whenever you log in, your newsfeed will be automatically populated with edges that scored highest. Take note, your updates will only feature in the news feed if the score higher than other news feeds available at the same moment and time. Time decay continuously changes depending on factors such as:

  • How frequently your and your fans log in to facebook
  • The last log in times 

Generally time decay tends to change the more you log in to facebook.

Final Thoughts

In case you wish to check your edgerank score simply make use of the facebook analytics tool. Edgerank generally allows you to have an overview of its effects on how you socialize online especially since you will find out how many people have reached you [how many you are close to] etc. In addition to all this, you ill also find out the impacts of edgerank to you as a user.