Skip to content – An Experiment: Testing Facebook’s News Feed Filtering Algorithm


By Jon Loomer

December 12, 2013

Facebook recently reported in a sales PDF that organic Reach is going to drop due to competition in the News Feed. Many marketers were upset by this, claiming they were once again being forced to pay for ads — led by an inflammatory post by AdAge.

I have plenty to say on that topic. But I want to be as scientific in my response as possible. And it can’t all be said in a single blog post.

As a result, I’m going to start slowly. Today’s goal is to dig deeper than the typical reactionary blogger and marketer when it comes to the quality and composition of the News Feed.

Back in August, Facebook shed light on how they determine what you see in your News Feed via their filtering algorithm (also known as EdgeRank). Facebook’s goal, they said, was to show you more of what you care most about and less of what you don’t.

Of course, brands in particular balk at this. We hate that we don’t reach 100% — or 20, 30, 40 or 50%. So instead of testing this, many brands straight up assume they are being screwed.

Now that reports indicate that organic Reach will drop further due to increased competition in the News Feed, I figured this was a good time to take a closer look at what is shown to me.

As a result, I am putting Facebook’s claim that they show me the content I care most about to the test. In particular regarding content shared by brand Pages.


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