In the history of algorithms, few have been obsessed over as much as the one that currently governs Facebook's News Feed. Ever since its launch in 2006, the platform's users and the brands that seek to reach those users have had an uneasy relationship with its existence.
For example, within hours of its debut, a group called "Students Against Facebook News Feed" collected hundreds of thousands of members. Moreover, though most of us eventually began to accept its utility, we've also expressed no shortage of skepticism toward how it decides to place content in front of us.
Unlike social networks like Twitter and Instagram, where all updates are displayed in our timeline in reverse chronological order, Facebook has always sought to determine the likelihood that you'd be interested in a particular piece of content and prioritized your news feed accordingly.
Facebook first did this through a rudimentary algorithm called EdgeRank before employing a more sophisticated set of weights and signals based on machine learning. As the social network continues to tinker with its algorithm, companies that invested heavily in growing their Facebook following have seen wild fluctuations in their Page reach, which has understandably resulted in widespread paranoia that Facebook is turning the faucet on and off to force those businesses into purchasing ads.
For example, the company that created a food delivery app called Eat24 famously penned a breakup letter with Facebook and shut down its page: "Even if we could figure out your mysterious, all-knowing algorithm, it's constantly changing, so what works today might not work tomorrow."
This is a frustration that many brands share. But though it is true that, on average, post reach has been on the decline, obsessing over the day-to-day performance of your Facebook page is, at its best, unproductive and, at its worst, destructive to your state of mind.
Here's why you should stop refreshing your page analytics and just focus on creating great content for your followers.
Facebook wants to reward great content
Take the first step (it's free).
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