How Facebook’s news feed algorithm works.
Photo illustration by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by Tang Ming Tung/Getty Images. Every time you open Facebook, one of the world’s most influential, controversial, and misunderstood algorithms springs into action. It scans and collects everything posted in the past week by each of your friends, everyone you follow, each group you belong to, and every Facebook page you’ve liked. For the average Facebook user, that’s more than 1,500 posts. If you have several hundred friends, it could be as many as 10,000. No one outside Facebook knows for sure how it does this, and no one inside the company will tell you. Facebook through the Years Facebook’s news feed algorithm has shaped not only what we read and how we keep in touch, but how the media frame stories to catch our attention. Interactive template by Chris Kirk. And yet, for all its power, Facebook’s news feed algorithm is surprisingly inelegant, maddeningly mercurial, and stubbornly opaque. Photo by Christophe Wu/Facebook
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