Edgerank Fathered James T. Kirk

Okay maybe Edgerank didn’t father James T. Kirk but it did father the new Facebook newsfeed algorithm in a similar manner to that of George Kirk fathering James Kirk (Yes this is a star trek reference).

For those of you who haven’t seen the newest series of Star Trek with Chris Pine as Captain Kirk here is a little background. George Kirk was captain of the Star Ship Enterprise for 12 minutes and he sacrificed his life to save 800 lives including his son’s.

James Kirk then grew up to become one of the greatest captains in star fleet history.

Edgerank like George Kirk is also dead. But in its death it has also gave birth to a new algorithm which surpasses it.

If you haven’t heard of Edgerank before then here you go:                                                     EdgeRank is the algorithm used by Facebook to help determine where and what posts appear on the news feed for each user by promoting interesting and relevant content they want to see first. The algorithm factors in three variables: affinity, weight and time decay. In general, the idea is to show you the freshest and most engaging content from your connections, while also considering your previous activity history on Facebook.

Even though Edgerank may be dead it is important to understand how it worked because it is the base to the new algorithm.


How does Edgerank work?

How Edgerank functions is not only important for a business owner to know, it’s also very interesting!  EdgeRank uses three primary metrics to determine what you see in your Newsfeed.


EdgeRank attempts to determine your relationship with the person who is posting.  This is based on the assumption that you want to see more content from people and businesses that you have a closer relationship with.  For example, you are more likely to see posts from your brother whom you interact with on Facebook frequently than an old high school acquaintance that you haven’t engaged with since you added them as a friend two years ago.  The more you interact with a friend or business by liking, sharing, or commenting on their posts, the more likely you are to continue to see their future posts.


Each post has a certain “weight” or value in the EdgeRank algorithm.  Photos and videos have more weight than links and links have a higher weight than simple text posts.  Weight can also be determined by relevance because Facebook places a higher value on subjects that a lot of people are talking about at any given time.  For example, your post about the Super Bowl may be given higher weight than one about what you had for lunch.  Additionally, the more likes or comments a post receives, the greater your chances are of seeing it…especially if that interaction has come from people you know.

Time Decay:

Every post on Facebook eventually disappears from your newsfeed.  How long it continues to appear is determined in large part by its popularity, but the general rule is that you are more likely to see newer posts than older ones.  In this way, logging into Facebook on a Friday isn’t likely to show you items that your friends posted on a Monday.  Instead, EdgeRank attempts to balance out older content with high engagement with new content that may have higher relevance.  And THIS is where the most recent changes to the Edgerank algorithm have taken place.


Now that you know how it worked here are some tips that can help you use it to your advantage which will also work with the new algorithm.




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