Like most puzzles, the clues to cracking Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm lie in the algorithm itself. Once you understand how it works, cracking it is a piece of cake. Here’s what the algorithm looks like when it’s translated from mathematical symbols to simple words.
EdgeRank = Popularity x Relevance x Recency
Here’s how to do it…
Shockingly, when you tell Facebook what you want, it gives it to you. The problem is most people don’t know how to talk to Facebook. But we have your back. Open up your Facebook Homepage and find the word ‘Newsfeed’ in the top left corner. See those precious 3 dots ‘…’ next to ‘Newsfeed’? Click on those and select ‘Edit Preferences’.
Now you can choose who you want to see first. Pick your favourite news, sports and entertainment pages (don’t forget to pick WTD News #ShamelessPlug), pick your best friends, closet family or even that random acquaintance who knows just how to tickle your funny bone. You can also choose who to see less, which might be the best way to avoid that cousin who posts daily updates saying “Awww, look how quickly my little bacha is growing!”
After making these changes you might notice that you see way more from the news, sports and entertainment pages. This is because according to this report, person-to-person sharing has fallen by 5.5%, which means that Facebook has now become less about sharing personal messages and more about consuming content from digital publishers. Even though the algorithm was recently changed to show posts by friends and family before brands and news outlets, the sheer volumes and frequency of posts by organizations make it less effective when you select those you want to ‘see first’.
Not only does Facebook listen to your direct instructions, it’s especially good at understanding subliminal messages. This means you need to engage with the content you want to see more of. Translation: NO MORE PASSIVE SCROLLING. You’ve got to start liking everything that even mildly interests you, react to things on Facebook that cause a reaction IRL. If you really want to see something show up on your newsfeed more often, throw cause to the wind and comment or share it.
Mark Zuckerberg started 2018 by saying that the only way to really use Facebook is to actively participate on the platform. Of course, that sound like something the Founder of Facebook would want you to do, but considering how EdgeRank works, it’s actually not such a bad idea.
Way back in 2011, Facebook launched something they like to call the ‘Special Friends List’. And when it comes to taking back control of your newsfeed and showing EdgeRank the finger, the Special Friends feature is godsent.
You know how sometimes you see a post by someone on your newsfeed and you find that you don’t even recognize them. Unfriend all these people. If you’re worried about their feeling or your friend count, at least unfollow them. These are the people that truly clutter your newsfeed and keep you from seeing updates posted by people you actually care about.
You know how sometimes you realized your friends with someone but you find that the word ‘friend’ is actually quite a stretch as a term to define your relationship. Guess what? Facebook allows you to downgrade someone from a ‘friend’ to an ‘acquaintance’. You can do this by going to their profile, finding the button that says ‘Friends’ on the top right corner and changing it to ‘Acquaintance’. Now you’ll see fewer posts from these people. You can also upgrade people to being ‘Close Friends’ so you can see more posts from them.
If you’ve done all of the above, but you’re still unsatisfied with how your newsfeed looks, we have one more ultimate solution for you – ditch the newsfeed completely and discover all the other cool things you can do on Facebook.
First, you’ll need a replacement for all your news consumption. Download a couple of reliable news apps, one for domestic, one for international news and turn on notifications for these apps.
Now that that’s over, explore other parts of Facebook, like groups. Join groups that are associated with your hobbies, interests and profession. They’re great places to meet new people, make plans, and even find jobs or clients. Facebook is also great for finding interesting events (concerts, markets and festivals) around you or organise events yourself.
Biggest takeaway? Everything around your newsfeed on your homepage can be wayyyy more helpful than the newsfeed is.