March 3, 2020

Understanding Facebook’s 2020 Algorithm Changes

Image via Ryan L, Twenty20

Unless you work at Facebook, you might be unsure of just how the social media platform’s algorithm works when it comes to sorting content in you or your customers’ news feed.

And then, suddenly, you hear two words that make things even more confusing — “algorithm change.”

In 2018, Facebook made significant changes to the way its algorithm sorts content, most importantly prioritizing organic content — meaning you would be seeing more from your friends and family, and less organic posts from brands and businesses, even if you do choose to follow them.

So as we get into the heart of the 2020 calendar year, what are some of the things your business pages need to know about Facebook’s news feed changes, and how can you best ensure your organic reach won’t be overly affected?

News Feed Changes

As previously mentioned, whenFacebook made a change to the news feed’s algorithm in 2018, it prioritized organic engagement and “meaningful interaction.” You might be asking yourself — what is considered “meaningful?” According to Facebook itself, interactions in the news feed that would be deemed “meaningful” are:

  • Multiple users replying to each other’s comments on a video they watched or an article they read in the news feed
  • A page responding to a user’s comment on their post
  • Users commenting on or interacting with a page’s live video
  • Users responding to page posts shared through Messenger
  • Any interactions that users have with a page post that has been shared by a user

Declining Organic Reach

Image via Carlo Van Stek, Twenty20

While many jump to blame Facebook’s algorithms as the reason their posts and pages are seeing a decreased organic reach, one other explanation is simple: there is more competition for news feed space than ever before. From Facebook’s “Why is Organic Reach Declining?” help article, they explain more:

“More and more content is being created and shared every day. You’ve probably felt this change yourself. Just a few years ago, sharing important moments and experiences, articles you’ve read, and photos and videos of your loved ones was a relatively labor-intensive process. Today, thanks to devices like smartphones, many people can share this content with just a few swipes of the finger or taps of a button.

There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. On average, there are 1,500 stories that could appear in a person’s News Feed each time they log onto Facebook. For people with lots of friends and Page likes, as many as 15,000 potential stories could appear any time they log on.
As a result, competition in News Feed — the place on Facebook where people view content from their family and friends, as well as businesses — is increasing, and it’s becoming harder for any story to gain exposure in News Feed. In addition to the growth in content, people are also liking more Pages. Facebook’s director of product management for News Feed told TechCrunch this April the total number of Pages liked by the typical Facebook user grew more than 50% last year. With each new Page like, competition in News Feed increases even further.”

More “Personalized” Experiences

One of Facebook’s driving motivators behind news feed changes (besides, of course, privacy issues and government inquiries), is the desire to make Facebook a more personal social media feed.

One of the updates we saw in 2019 was the introduction of customized surveys in the news feed, allowing users to indicate what kind of content they would like to see more of.

Personal use information from close friends, photos, locations, and liking and commenting are also being fed into Facebook’s news feed algorithm, helping the platform figure who you likely have a close relationship with and who you are more likely to want to hear from more.


Every company has a story — and at SmartSolutions, we’re passionate about helping you tell that story. 

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