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2024 Facebook Algorithm: Tip + Secrets Revealed

Find out how the Facebook algorithm ranks content in 2024 and learn what it takes to get your posts seen on the platform.

Hannah Macready January 11, 2024
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The Facebook algorithm is a hot topic for social media marketers, business owners, journalists, the public, world leaders — basically anyone who uses Facebook to consume or distribute content.

Whether you love it or hate it, the simple truth is you’ve got to work with it if you want your Facebook marketing efforts to succeed. Here, we explain everything you need to know about the algorithm Facebook uses to rank content and shape the feeds of its 2.93 billion users.

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What is the Facebook algorithm?

The Facebook algorithm is a set of rules that rank content across the platform. It determines what people see every time they check Facebook and in what order that content shows up. Facebook calls this “personalized ranking.”

Essentially, the algorithm evaluates every post, ad, Story, and Reel. It scores content and then arranges it in descending order of interest for each individual user. This process happens every time a user refreshes their feed.

According to Facebook, the social network uses algorithms to “arrange all of the content you could see on [the feed, Search, Marketplace, Groups, and Watch] with the aim of showing you the things we think you may be most personally interested in at the top of each surface.”

Facebook algorithm changes for 2024

Now that we understand what the Facebook algorithm is, let’s dive into how it’s changing in 2024. As mentioned above, the algorithm is constantly evolving and being updated to ensure a better user experience.

The main thing you need to know is that Artificial intelligence (AI) has become an integral part of the Facebook algorithm. With its advanced machine learning capabilities, AI helps personalize content for users by analyzing their behavior and preferences on the platform.

Here are some of the changes you can expect in 2024:

1. More focus on meaningful interactions

Facebook has made it clear that it wants to prioritize posts that spark conversations and generate meaningful interactions between users. Posts that don’t receive engagement may see a decrease in reach.

headspace facebook post showing hundreds of likes, positive comments, and shares

2. Relevance score calculation

The algorithm calculates a relevance score for each post and uses it to rank content in users’ feeds. Factors that influence this score include the type of content, user interactions with similar posts, and how long a user spends viewing posts in the same category.

3. Predicted time spent on a post

AI helps predict how much time a user is likely to spend viewing a post. This prediction is based on signals such as previous interactions with similar posts and the type of content in the post.

4. Likelihood of engagement

The Facebook algorithm also predicts how likely a user is to engage with a Page or view additional comments on a post. Factors that influence this prediction include past interactions with Pages, time spent on similar posts, and activity on Pages.

5. Balanced mix of content types

The algorithm is designed to show users a variety of post types, such as videos, photos, links, and text posts. This ensures users don’t see multiple posts of the same type in a row.

carousel of relevant reels shown in facebook feed

5. Worthiness of a post

Factors like the number of shares, reactions, and the category of the post’s author determine whether a post is deemed “worthwhile” by users. This includes how many reactions have been added to the post per number of views, how many times the post has been shared, and how many Pages a user has hidden.

6. Transparency and control for users

Facebook is working towards providing more transparency and control for its users. This includes features like the “Show More, Show Less” tool, which allows users to customize their feed and the option to switch to a chronological feed if desired. Users can also create a “Favorites” list to ensure they always see content from their favorite accounts.

in-feed facebook post from rotten tomatos with settings options to hide post, snooze rotten tomatoes, unfollow, and more

Meta has also published more information on how Instagram and Facebook algorithms work on Feed, Stories, Reels, and more, in the form of “system cards”. See the full list of 22 system cards for more.

How does the Facebook algorithm work?

Meta has a whole team of people working on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Part of their work is to improve the algorithms that connect Facebook users with the most valuable content for them.

Over the years, algorithm ranking signals have been added and removed and have had their importance adjusted.

As of 2024, the Facebook algorithm determines which content is most relevant to a particular user based on four main ranking signals:

  1. Who posted it: You’re more likely to see content from sources you interact with, including friends and businesses.
  2. Type of content: If you most often interact with video, you’ll see more video. If you engage with photos, you’ll see more photos. You get the idea.
  3. How likely you are to engage with the post: If the algorithm thinks you’re likely to comment, like, or share a post, then it’s more likely to show it in your feed.
  4. How interested will other people be in this post: If the Facebook algorithm determines that a post will generate meaningful interactions between users, such as comments, shares, and replies, it will be ranked higher.

2024 Facebook Feed algorithm

Facebook’s news feed algorithm mainly (but not exclusively) features relevant content from people, brands, and Groups you’re already connected to. Facebook explains that this algorithm uses four steps to determine the order of the content users see in their feed:

  1. Inventory: All the content available from the people, pages, and groups you’re connected with, plus relevant ads and recommended content based on your Facebook activity.
  2. Signals: These are the ranking signals discussed above.
  3. Predictions: The algorithm crunches the data from the ranking factors to make custom predictions about which content you’ll value most.
  4. Relevance: Each piece of content gets a relevance score, with the highest-scoring posts closer to the top of your feed.

Facebook also gives users options that help them train the algorithm and customize their feed:

Adding favorites

You can select up to 30 people and pages to add to Favorites. Posts from these accounts will appear higher in the feed.

To access Favorites:

  • Click your profile picture, then click Settings & privacy
  • Then, choose Feed, then Favorites.
  • You can use the other options in this section to snooze, unfollow, or reconnect with other Facebook users.
  • You can also choose to view just content from your Favorites.
list of favorite accounts shown in facebook settings

In-feed customizations

Click on any post, and you’ll see a set of options, including hiding the post, snoozing the user, or adding or removing the user from favorites.

All of this provides information to the algorithm about what kind of content you want to see more (or less) of.

On ads, the equivalent option is Hide ad. Facebook will then give you a set of options to indicate why you want to hide the ad. This will help Facebook understand what kind of advertisers you want to hear from, and which you’d rather avoid.

facebook feed customization list including show more, show less, and hide ad options

Facebook will remove content that goes against its Community Standards. They also reduce the distribution of “content that people find objectionable,” like “misinformation, a sensationalized health claim, or clickbait.”

Finally, there are some specific words to avoid when working with the Facebook algorithms:

  • Threatening or violent language
  • Harassing language, especially those that are sexist, homophobic, racist, ableist, and so on
  • Words related to harmful stereotypes
  • Slurs
  • Any other language that violates the Community Standards

2024 Facebook Reels algorithm

The Facebook Reels algorithm follows the same ranking system as the Feed described above. As described by Meta, those are:

  1. Inventory
  2. Signals
  3. Predictions
  4. Relevance

These signals can be further broken down into more distinct actions and triggers. Here’s how those break down:

  • Watch time: The percentage of a Reel you’re predicted to watch, as well as how many times the same Reel was viewed by others for less than three seconds.
  • Interest: The topics on which you usually engage with, as well as the accounts and hashtags you follow. The more a Reel falls into one of these categories, the higher it ranks for you.
  • Time spent: How much time people spend viewing Reels when they appear in their feeds. More time suggests better quality content that will be ranked higher.
  • Intent: How people interact with Reels when they first see them. If someone taps to view a Reel in full screen or clicks on the profile of the author, this signals high intent, and the algorithm ranks the content accordingly.
  • Engagement: Finally, the algorithm ranks how many times the Reel has been viewed by others, how many individuals have clicked on the Reel to view it in full screen, and more.

Beyond these signals, there are some important best practices to help make your Reels more discoverable (a.k.a. ranked higher by the algorithm). The overarching principle is to make high-quality content. What exactly does that mean?

Here are the specific recommendations straight from the source:

  • Be entertaining and engaging
  • Start a trend
  • Use built-in tools like text, filters, or other effects
  • Stick to vertical video
  • Add music
  • Experiment with different approaches
  • Use good lighting and camerawork to create a video that’s visually pleasing

And here’s what to avoid:

  • Blurry or low-resolution video
  • Videos with watermarks from other apps (i.e., TikTok)
  • Video with a border around it
  • Horizontal video

10 tips for working with the Facebook algorithm

Now that we’ve discussed the specifics of two important Facebook algorithms let’s look at some tips for navigating them successfully.

Bonus: Download a free social SEO checklist and follow pro tips for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn to get your posts seen by more people.

1. Understand what your audience wants to see

Facebook indicates it prioritizes content that is “meaningful, relevant, and informative.” So what does that mean, exactly?

  • Meaningful: Content the user will want to talk to friends and family about or spend time reading (based on past behavior), and videos they want to watch. Overall engagement also factors in here.
  • Relevant: Content is prioritized by who you engage with most, what type of content you generally like, and how many interactions its gathered from other users.
  • Informative: Content someone will find “new, interesting, and informative,” which will vary by user.

Understanding what will be meaningful, relevant, and informative to your specific audience means you need to understand their unique interests and behaviors. Audience research can help you uncover these traits.

Facebook audience research feed who posted it when it's posted story type and engagement

Source: Facebook

2. Create accurate and authentic content

Facebook says, “People on Facebook value accurate, authentic content.” They also specify that the types of posts people “consider genuine” will rank higher in the algorithm. Meanwhile, they work to reduce the ranking for posts people find “misleading, sensational, and spammy.”

Here are a couple of tips for signaling the algorithm that your content is accurate and authentic:

  • Write clear headlines: Make sure your headline clearly describes what users will find in your post. You can certainly get creative with your post captions but don’t use clickbait or misleading titles.
  • Be truthful: Put simply, tell the truth. Don’t sensationalize, exaggerate, or outright lie.

On the flip side, here are some things to avoid:

  • Content that impedes community safety, like violence, self-harm, or use of regulated products.
  • Content with low-quality health or financial claims, like miracle cures or get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Unoriginal content or unattributed news content
  • False claims and misinformation
  • Facebook algorithm words to avoid, such as racist, homophobic, or violent language

3. Don’t try to manipulate the algorithm

But wait, isn’t this post all about how to manipulate the algorithm? No, this post is about understanding how the algorithm works so you can learn what Facebook considers valuable for its users.

It’s up to you to figure out how those overall principles apply to your specific audience. Then, create content that will resonate with them and send positive ranking signals to the algorithm.

Trying to manipulate the algorithm to get more distribution than your content merits is a big no-no. This might include paying for engagement or comments, or engaging in other black-hat strategies (or “inauthentic sharing”) to manipulate reach.

inauthentic sharing gif on Facebook People or Pages

Source: Facebook

Facebook specifically works to limit the distribution of clickbait, engagement bait, and deceptive landing pages, so trying to manipulate the algorithm with these strategies will only work against you. Buying likes can also reduce your distribution.

As well, new feed preference controls give users more power to report, block, and hide content they feel is irrelevant. Even if Facebook’s moderators don’t catch you scamming, your audience likely will.

The simple message here: Work with the algorithm, not against it.

4. Engage with your audience

The algorithm Facebook uses prioritizes posts from Pages that a user has had meaningful interactions with in the past. This means that bumping up your reply game is key.

If a person takes the time to comment on your post, don’t waste the opportunity. Making them feel heard with a reply makes it more likely they will continue to comment on your posts in the future. This, of course, sends more of those juicy engagement signals to the algorithm. Ignore them and they’ll likely go silent in return.

customer comment on hello fresh facebook post with positive response

Pro tip: Whether you’re a solopreneur or you have a whole team of community managers in place, Hootsuite Inbox makes managing these conversations at scale a lot easier.

brand replying to social media comments all at once using hootsuite inbox

5. Get your audience to engage with each other

Remember how we said the algorithm values content that people want to share and discuss with their friends? Well, a pretty easy way to send that signal is to get people sharing your content and discussing it with their friends.

Facebook itself says that if a post triggers a lot of conversation among a user’s friends, the algorithm applies “action-bumping logic” to show that post to the user again.

To get your audience sharing and discussing, check out our tips for boosting Facebook engagement.

6. Post at the right time

Algorithm’s on Facebook help people see your content even if they weren’t online when it was first posted. But as we’ve emphasized throughout this post, engagement is a key signal that indicates a post’s potential value. And you’re most likely to get that engagement–especially critical early engagement–if you post when more of your audience is online.

Put simply, posting at the right time maximizes the chances that people will see your post, including people who are not online at the time you post!

This is such an important topic that we’ve got a whole post dedicated to understanding the best time to post on Facebook.

heatmap from hootsuite showing best times to post on facebook

As well, Hootsuite’s Best Time to Publish tool (built into Hootsuite Composer) and Hootsuite Analytics that will show you recommended times to share your next post to maximize engagement with your specific followers.

Try it free
hootsuite compose with recommended publishing time pop up

7. Don’t forget the basic status post

When you’re trying to bump up your engagement numbers, it can be tempting to seek out complicated Facebook algorithm hacks. But don’t forget the humble status post. (A post that has no photo, video, or link.)

Research from Hootsuite shows that status posts on average get among the highest engagement rates: 0.11%. Photo posts come in only marginally higher at 0.12%. Videos and link posts come in significantly lower at 0.08% and 0.04%, respectively.

We’re not saying you should create an entire Facebook Page of status posts, but they can be an effective way to communicate simple information and get top engagement scores.

8. Expand your reach via your best advocates

Your employees may have more credibility and authority with the Facebook algorithm than your brand page does. This is because they have more credibility and authority with their own followers and friends.

Your employees can exponentially expand your potential reach when they’re empowered to share your brand’s content to their own circles. Hootsuite Amplify can help make it easy for employees to share pre-approved content to their social channels.

Hootsuite amplify platform showing three recommended posts for employees to share

Affiliate marketing is another great group of advocates that can help expand your reach and build your brand’s credibility. Give them resources and training to help them spread the word on Facebook and extend your targeted audience through their own algorithm signals.

9. Collaborate with influencers

Just as your employees can expand your reach, so too can influencers. Working with influencers who have a large and engaged following signals to the Facebook algorithm that your content is authoritative and relevant.

Before collaborating with an influencer, do your research to make sure they align with your brand and have an engaged following. This will ensure that their posts about your brand are genuine and resonate with their followers rather than coming across as inauthentic or forced (a bad signal to the algorithm).

10. Monitor analytics and insights

The best way to understand the Facebook algorithm is to track and measure your own performance. By monitoring analytics and insights, you can identify trends and patterns in engagement for your specific page.

You can then use this data to adjust and optimize your content strategy to better align with what resonates most with your audience.

Pro tip: Use Hootsuite Analytics to easily monitor Facebook post data and track your page’s performance over time. You can also compare your metrics to industry benchmarks to better understand how you stack up against competitors.

multi platform analytics shown in Hootsuite analytics

Facebook algorithm FAQs

What is Facebook’s algorithm?

The Facebook algorithm is a set of ranking signals powered by machine learning and artificial intelligence. It calculates which content is most likely to appeal to each user and then delivers them a personalized feed.

How do you beat the Facebook algorithm?

There is no way to “beat” the Facebook algorithm (and you will be penalized or even have your account disabled if you specifically try to trick the algorithm). However, there are plenty of strategies you can use to send powerful ranking signals to the algorithm.

The most important strategy is to create high-quality content that appeals to your specific audience while staying engaged with followers and fans of your page.

How do I increase my Facebook algorithm?

To increase your Facebook algorithm, focus on creating high-quality and engaging content that resonates with your audience. Encourage interaction and conversation with your followers, and collaborate with influencers and employees to expand your reach.

Additionally, regularly monitoring analytics and adjusting your content strategy accordingly can also help improve your Facebook algorithm. Don’t try to game the system by using shortcuts or hacks, as these tactics will ultimately hurt your reach and engagement.

How do I reset my Facebook algorithm?

You can’t completely reset your Facebook algorithm, but there are a couple of steps you can take to make an immediate change to the content you see as a user, followed by an ongoing maintenance strategy to better train the algorithm over time.

First up, the “reset.”

  1. Click your profile picture and select Settings and privacy > Feed.
  2. Use the options here to make an immediate Facebook algorithm change.
    • To see more content from specific people and brands, add them to Favorites.
    • To take a temporary break, Snooze them.
    • Use the Unfollow option to stop seeing content from a person or brand in your feed but remain connected with them.
    • And scroll through the people and brands listed under Reconnect to see if there’s anyone you’ve unfollowed that you would like to see more from again.
  3. Go back to Settings and Privacy, then click Settings, then click Ad Preferences in the left menu. Go to Ad Topics to review and change the topics you want to see more and less of in Facebook ads.

Next is maintenance. Use the in-feed options like Hide Post, Snooze, and Unfollow to tell the algorithm what you like and don’t. Be selective with the posts and pages you like going forward, as these all send signals to the algorithm that you want more of that content.

Manage your Facebook presence alongside your other social media channels using Hootsuite. From a single dashboard, you can schedule posts, share videos, engage your audience, and measure the impact of your efforts. Try it free today.

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By Hannah Macready

Hannah Macready is a freelance writer with 12 years of experience in social media and digital marketing. Her work has appeared in publications such as Fast Company and The Globe & Mail, and has been used in global social media campaigns for brands like Grosvenor Americas and Intuit Mailchimp. In her spare time, Hannah likes exploring the outdoors with her two dogs, Soup and Salad.

Read more by Hannah Macready

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