What Facebook Is Really Showing You.

There’s a great article up on the Daily Beast about what Facebook is really showing you vs. what your friends are actually saying, and what they see from you vs. what you actually post. In a bit of reverse engineering, they followed a new user for a couple of weeks to see how his Top News and Most Recent feeds were affected (and how often he showed up in his friends’ feeds). They found some interesting results, including:

Facebook’s Bias Against Newcomers.

…Phil spent his first week shouting his updates, posted several times a day, yet most of his ready-made “friends” never noticed a peep on their news feeds. His invisibility was especially acute among those with lengthy, well-established lists of friends.

Links trump status updates, but photos and videos trump links.

Just as links proved more potent than status updates in making it past Facebook’s filter, so did photos and videos Phil posted. Here, too, it is likely a matter of engagement. Think about times you’ve spotted a thumbnail-size photo from a friend in your feed and clicked to see it full-size. Facebook likes clicks, and photos deliver them.

So, as with Google’s search algorithm, it’s not about how much you post, but how good the content is, how much discussion it generates, and how many other people click on it. As always, the problem is getting it to show up in front of people.

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