EdgeRank is the denoted name of the Algorithm that is used by Facebook. We don’t tend to notice that it’s there, but our posts and pictures would be lost without it. The Algorithm is how Facebook decides and filters which stories appear in each users’ daily news feed. The algorithm’s sole purpose is to basically hide “boring” or uninteresting stories and posts, and only publish the ones that will be entertaining to Facebook’s viewers. When you sign onto the website, the first thing you see is what people have posted, and it’s not always in chronological order.
On January 11th, Facebook declared that they would be switching over their algorithm so that the posts you see on your news feed will be viewed in a new order. By using filtered technology, your family members and friend’s posts will tend to show up first instead of advertisements and posts from companies or pages that you “Follow” or “Like”. This change has become very well liked to most individuals that use Facebook for personal reasons, but for those that use it for publishing and business reasons, they’re the ones that are starting to become a little frantic.
In the eyes of businesses that use Facebook as a primary outlet for connecting to the public, this change is a bit concerning because it’s taking away one of the main roads that lead them to their consumers. Facebook's mobile user statistics show us that 1.32 billion users solely use Facebook on their cellular devices, that’s roughly 32%. For a company that started out as a PC based networking site in only 2004, the growth rate is impeccable. When you open up your phone, it’s normally a constant scrolling of your thumb up and down the news feed, and you only “Like” or “Comment” on things that appear of interest to you. Since Facebook in the past has built strong relationships with publishers and advertisers, the site was a safe haven for them because it was getting them constantly exposed and able to grow their consumer’s knowledge base more rapidly. Unfortunately because of this, it has now just turned into a site where users passively scroll up and down, not really engaging in what is being shared. Bad news is, the time that users would take out of their day to spend on Facebook is losing a lot of its kick that makes it special. Make note of the fact that advertisements aren’t cheap whatsoever, so technically, it’s becoming a lose-lose situation. With the decision to flip the switch and make Facebook more personable to each individual that holds an account, it’ll make your time that you spend on your phone, or laptop, on Facebook; more valuable. You’ll see more of what you really care about and what you want to see based off your interests. Not just advertisements that you’ll scroll through anyway and not pay any attention to.
Essentially in the long run, this new twist on Facebook will benefit the advertisers and publishers just as much as it will benefit the individuals that use the site for pure communication and leisure. There are high hopes that this will be a more cost effective route for those posting things for business accounts, therefore they’ll cut back on their advertising budget and can exert their funds into other resources. Best case scenario is that the companies that do well as far as reaching their consumers and gaining loyal customers, will be able to branch their content distribution outside of the Facebook platform. This way if you know you like a brand, product, or company, you’ll be looking for them more rapidly and seeking the information out yourself. The people that are going to be in charge of doing this for the company will be the ones that really have the drive to want to go out and reach everyone, so that they can make the most user friendly and exciting experience for the customers as possible. As someone who just recently created a brand new, and fresh Facebook account- I have already noticed how there is no more busy body traffic from things that I could frankly care less about. I see the important posts and pictures from my loved ones, and anything they might share that can range from a cooking video or to exquisite travel destinations. Bottom line, I am no longer getting bombarded by advertisements that have no relevance to what I am interested in and I am a HUGE fan. I think this whole experience with switching over the algorithm has been both a little bit of give and a little bit of take. There is just the right mix of the two different ways your news feed is getting filtered, nothing less and nothing more. Although Facebook is already as booming of a company as is, this tweak to their news feed will eventually sweep the nation and have an incredibly big impact on the value of people’s time. In order for a company to grow, things have to start to develop along the way- even if it’s years later.
“Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” –G. Bernard Shaw
Intern & Mini Badass in Training
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