How does the Facebook Algorithm work in 2020?

How does the Facebook Algorithm work in 2020?

Now that we have stepped into the new decade, with the beginning of the new year, there would be an update in the Facebook algorithm, as expected.

Till the end of the year 2019, Facebook posts have a reach average of 2.2%. From these statistics, we can safely conclude that the brands can expect their posts to be seen by the followers by 5.5% of their page followers. And for the larger brands that had the largest follower counts, even lower averages could be expected.

If a marketer wants its posts and content to be visible to the people who are visiting Facebook, he has to make sure that he is staying up to date with all the happenings on Facebook. Although the Facebook algorithm is not the only factoring contributing to the post reach, it still is the most important one. There are factors like Facebook’s continued growth that affect the post reach as well, but again, the most important one is Facebook’s algorithm.

If you are not sure about the Facebook algorithm, it merely implies to the fact that how often does a visitor sees a post in his news feed, and in which order does the posts appear after each refresh.

This algorithm of Facebook has been continually evolving since the year 2018 in the hope of making the time people spend on Facebook, more meaningful, and valuable.

However, in 2020, then things are going to get changed pretty much, and the algorithm of Facebook is going to get revised. The new changes made on the algorithm of Facebook, are based on the survey that it had conducted several times, getting the opinion from the people directly and letting them choose what they want. So after this survey, in this new decade, Facebook is allowing its users to choose what appears in their feed and is giving them a button to click upon to know why that particular post is looking in their feed.

But what would happen to those brands who are not willing to shell dollars for turning each post into a Facebook ad?

There is no need to worry as we are here to help you with the nine strategic tips that we have gathered for you to work on the Facebook algorithm in 2020.

A brief history of the Facebook algorithm through the years


Facebook was introduced in the year 2004, but there was no newsfeed at that time. The newsfeed was born in the year 2006, the like button was added in 2007, and the term Facebook algorithm was invented by the year 2009. this algorithm was based on the fact that how popular a post is, and based on that, the news appeared in the feed.

2009 – 2019:

This is the most remarkable decade in the history of the evolution of Facebook as in these ten years, the algorithm of Facebook was refined. It renewed many times, new things were introduced, and the galaxy brained software helps personalize the feeds of the people, adding new horizons of betterment for the Facebook users. All this was done focusing on the idea that the people maximize their time for using Facebook, this would bring more and more chances for each user to look at the ads, and consequently, more money would be made by the Facebook shareholders. Here are a few examples of the things we want you to understand these algorithms.

  • 2015

Consider, for example, the feature named “See First” that helped people decide what they want to see at the top of their feed. On the other hand, Facebook started to downrank the pages that were contributing more towards the promotional organic content as compared to the original organic one.

  • 2016

This year, Facebook started to focus upon prioritizing the content appearing in the newsfeed of the users. This meant that there were prioritized posts from friends and family; there was content that was informative and entertaining. It also started to measure the value of each post, and it was based upon the amount of time that users were spending with this post, even if they are not liking, commenting, or sharing it. The Live video feature was also made better and prioritized as it was helping Facebook earn three times more than the regular videos.

  • 2017

This year, the posts were weighed for their success, based upon the reaction that people were given against them, such as angry faces or hearts. Along with that, the video completion rate was also used for weighing the successful videos.

  • 2018

This year also saw some remarkable changes in the algorithm of Facebook, as there was a criticism that it was facing for prioritizing the newsfeed from friends and family only. So Mark Zuckerberg, the owner of Facebook, took things in his own hands and announced that now the posts would be prioritized based upon the number of engagements that they are earning. So that the brands can get the most effective as well. This way, the quality of the time that people spent on Facebook got better against quantity.

This decision proved to be highly beneficial for the brands, and it was found that their criticism was valid, too, since they were not getting enough reach for not being in friends and family. Now the posts were prioritized based on how much comment, likes, shares, and the shares on messengers they were getting. This seemed pretty fair, as well.

  • 2019

This year, the results of the previous amendment in the algorithm came out, and it was observed that the engagement in a post had increased around 50% in one year. On the other hand, it brought outrage in the people as well that they were not getting much attention from getting shadowed by the popular posts from the famous brands. (for example, the Fox news were on the top for engagement).

The algorithm could not figure out the fake engagement posts that were used by the people who knew how to play the system of Google, no matter how non-organic and made-up their content was.

So we can safely conclude that the algorithm on which Facebook is working, is a continually evolving process. It will always continue to grow and will transform with the latest trends and interests of the people. Here, let us take a look at the things that the brands need to do when they want to prioritize themselves to get on the top ranks.

The Facebook algorithm is currently working on the theory of the ranking signals. 

With the help of the ranking signals, Facebook wants us to give it the feedback for what we want to see, and all that we see right now, is useful for us or not?

The ranking signals are the data points that are made according to the past behavior of the user and also from all the other users on Facebook. For example, which posts are most of the time liked by the user? Does the user often enjoy the posts form their boss or mum? Which post is being shared by the people today most often? Which is the favorite group of the user, and what kind of posts he likes to have? Is the feed he is getting is new? What is the number of posts that are available to the user to view right now? Based on this random yet discreet information, Facebook’s algorithm decides that it wants to show to the user and when.

So, we conclude that there are a lot of things that the Facebook algorithm goes through before it decides what it wants to display to the user and how. And we take all its effort for granted.

There are three major categories that Facebook mentions for ranking signals, and they are stated as follows.

  • Details of the typical interaction of a user
  • The media file type in the post (e.g., video, link, photos, etc.)
  • the popularity index of the post

not only in the year 2020, did Facebook allow the users to enjoy freedom and control over their newsfeed, but also in March 2019, it introduced a button that was named, “why am I seeing these posts?”, and this button helped people understand, in simple terms, that why a specific post has surfaced over their newsfeed. This algorithm has helped Facebook users to tell what they want to see, what they do not want to see, what they wish to minimal in their newsfeed, and what is irritating to them. 

Later in May 2019, a survey was done by Facebook that was based upon asking the Facebook users that they want to see and what content matters to them the most. The study was based on the following queries.

  1. Who are your close friends?
  2. Which posts do your friends find valuable
  3. What is the importance of a specific Facebook page that they have joined?

What is their level of interest in seeing the posts from the pages that they are following