How to Boost Your Post in Facebook's News Feed

Business Insider
Analyzing the top news stories across the web
April 30 2014 2:28 PM

The Magic Word to Boost Your Facebook Post Is...

487457943-facebook-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-delivers-the-opening
Who wants to know a Facebook secret?

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

This post first appeared in Business Insider.

Facebook’s News Feed has always been something of a mystery. 

Advertisement

Some posts show up in the feed, some don't. The feed has become overrun with all sorts of content and Facebook uses an algorithm to manage it. 

But no algorithm is perfect. 

CEO Mark Zuckerberg found this out when the top story in his feed was a co-worker's birthday. At the same time, his niece had been born.

According to a new Steven Levy story in Wired, when Zuckerberg saw his co-worker's birthday ranking ahead of his niece's birth, he asked for a tweak to Facebook's News Feed algorithm

The tweak was that if the word “congratulations” is in the comments, a post gets a boost.  This makes sense because congratulations is the No. 1 thing people say in response to huge events, like an engagement, a graduation, a new baby, or a new job—exactly the kind of stuff that Facebook wants to surface.

“We’re testing a lot of things every day to figure out what’s going to make the most engaging feed,” Zuckerberg tells Levy. “We use quantitative metrics that measure likes and comments and clicks and shares and other activities to see if a story is good, but we also have qualitative systems so that people can reorder a feed to tell us what they thought were the most important things.”

Jay Yarow is a reporter for Business Insider. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Dear Prudence
Oct. 21 2014 9:18 AM Oh, Boy Prudie counsels a letter writer whose sister dresses her 4-year-old son in pink tutus.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 21 2014 10:10 AM Where Do I Start With Sleater-Kinney?
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 21 2014 9:39 AM The International-Student Revolving Door Foreign students shouldn’t have to prove they’ll go home after graduating to get a visa.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 21 2014 7:00 AM Watch the Moon Eat the Sun: The Partial Solar Eclipse on Thursday, Oct. 23
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.