The term edge rank refers to the algorithm that determines the order in which posts are displayed in the newsfeed of the social network Facebook.
Edge rank is often compared to the page rank. This comparison is, however, not quite applicable. A particular website is assessed based on several criteria for page ranking. The result is a fixed value, based on which different websites can be compared. In contrast, the edge rank does not rate individual pages or users in Facebook. The term actually refers to the entire algorithm, which is responsible for determining the display order and frequency of the individual posts in a user’s newsfeed. The edge rank can give different results for one and the same post for different users.
Edge rank formula
The exact determination of the edge rank is a closely guarded secret. Thus it is not possible to calculate it precisely. Nevertheless, Facebook has published a formula by which the calculation can to be made schematically. Three criteria are included in the calculation of the Edge Rank:
- Affinity: Affinity is determined by how intense the connection between the user and the provider of an article has been so far. For example, how often you have liked news from a friend or how often you communicate with the applicable person is measured. The more intense the interaction, logically, the greater would be the interest in the person or the company.
- Weighting: The more interaction a post has considering all users (e.g. likes, comments, shares), the more important it will appear, and the more it is weighted.
- Actuality: The more current a post is, the greater the likelihood of frequent display.
In August 2013, Facebook announced that it would extend the previously known EdgeRank. According to one Facebook employee, there are approximately one hundred thousand factors responsible in determining the actual position of a post in the news feed. Examples include the frequent viewing of posts from one’s best friends, the chronological order of related posts or re-displaying the current contents with great potential for interaction. How the EdgeRank works exactly is shown in this infographic. Even this video explains the EdgeRank in detail.
Necessity of EdgeRank
EdgeRank is a benefit for Facebook users. In a large circle of friends and some liked pages about 1,500 new posts can appear in the newsfeed per query in Facebook.
Nobody can read and perceive that many posts. Therefore, Facebook is attempting to influence the content that gets displayed through EdgeRank. Based on various ranking factors, the network tries to find the information and posts that would be of particularly interest to the user. For this purpose, user behavior gets evaluated, such as their interaction with people and pages. Posts which are considered unimportant are completely hidden or displayed less frequently thanks to EdgeRank, while newer and more relevant articles are more visible.
- Facebook getting a little more transparent. Golem.de. Accessed on 03/14/2014