One fateful day, you log in to Facebook and see that your crush is online. Almost by instinct, you post a message, “I just passed my driving test!” on your wall, thinking that she might have seen it since she is online (and according to Facebook, is “active”). You wait for one minute. Two minutes. Has she seen that update? You’ve held back and not posted this for five hours, and have done so right at this very moment so that she will definitely see it.
The bad news is that she would most likely not have seen it.
The good news is that after reading this, you’ll know what to do.
There is a common misconception that once you post something on Facebook, all your friends who are online will see it. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth; the reality is that this was how it used to work, but not now. Through the years, Facebook has drastically changed how our posts are being shown to our friends’ newsfeed.
This misconception is much more pronounced in an instragram-ly country like our constantly connected Singapore, whereby we sometimes believe that how one social networking platform works is similar to the other. No, my dear readers: all social networking platforms serve the same purpose but work very differently.
As a company that relies on social networking sites to publicize, I’ve been learning how Facebook works for the last few years. The number of changes has been ridiculously high (if you would bother to go through my posts, you’ll see the distinct differences). But right now, I’m sure you’re only interested to know why sometimes, your posts are not seen, right? Before that, you have to understand why your posts are seen.
I’ll try to explain it as simple as possible. In case you want to read the technical thingy, you can Google “Facebook algorithm 2015” or “Edgerank 2015”. Remember to include “2015” as there have been several minor changes just earlier this year. And oh, if you’re reading this in 2016, then it would definitely be different.
Whenever you post an update, Facebook will, within minutes or hours (it has recently increased the timeframe), determine a “grade” for your post. If the grade is high, it will be shown to more people. If not, it will not; in fact, it might not be shown to anyone at all after that. Yes, it’s that bad.
So, how is the grade determined? It depends on three main factors (do note that there are other factors involved; these are the ones that have been consist for a while):
The amount of interaction
The moment you post something, Facebook will show it to some friends. Let’s use a simple example: if it is shown to 50 friends, and none of them do anything, our grade will be 0 for this. If 25 of them do something like “Liking” or “Sharing” the post, you’ll get 25 points.
So, on the hour or so, if your score is very low, then good luck: the chances of your post getting shown to anyone after that is very slim.
The time you post
It’s not exactly when you post it; it’s about how long it has been since you’ve posted it. Confused? Okay, basically, when you post something, it will be reflected immediately in some friends’ newsfeed, but its primary objective is to determine #1’s grade. So, if you get some good grade from #1, then this will come into play. For the next three days, based on #1’s grade, your post will slowly be shown in your friends’ post. As time goes by, less people will be shown. For example, in Day 1, 30 people will see it. In Day 2, 20 people will see it. In Day 3, 10 people will see it.
People who “stalk” you
If you have a friend who is always looking at your profile, or commenting on your post, he or she will most likely see your post. When this happens, #1 and #2 won’t be the primary metrics; instead, it will automatically be shown to that friend. In fact, this factor is so strong that it will happen at the VERY FIRST update in your friend’s newsfeed.
However, if you constantly stalk a friend but he doesn’t stalk you back, he won’t see your post based on this factor. Instead, you will see his post.
So, now you know how it works, it’s about time for you to stop hoping that your friends see your post. Go out and talk to them the old-fashioned way.