Edge Rank Explained
Edge Rank, for those who’ve never heard of it, is Facebook’s semi-secret algorithm that determines what content is shown to users. The first common misconception that needs to be alleviated, is that everything on Facebook is treated equally, and that your timeline is a conveyer belt churning out status updates as they are published.
In fact, there is an underlying system which analyses every single thing that happens on Facebook, and determines how interesting it will be to individual users. This system is called Edge Rank, and it’s incredibly important that brands have a good understanding of how it works if they want their core messaging to achieve meaningful reach.
We wouldn’t know much about Edge Rank if Facebook’s news feed product manager Will Cathart, hadn’t himself provided a basic breakdown of how it works. Essentially, Edge Rank looks at 3 variables: affinity, weight and time decay. Furthermore, it not only looks at your personal Facebook activity to determine what content will be of most interest to you, but it also looks at other Facebook users react to it.
For a full explanation of Facebook’s content distribution mechanism, check out this infographic, created by Postrocket.