When you first open your Facebook account much time is spent amassing friends, checking to see who you have got most mutual friends with and contacting them.  As time passes and you are friend requested by people who are harder and harder to recognise, your news feed gets clogged up with status updates from someone you haven’t seen for thirty years and all you can remember about them is they used to wet their pants and cry constantly in the playground.

Time for a Facebook cleanse.  How ruthless are you with your cull?

I defriended a girl once as she had stopped seeing a friend of mine and moved to another town.  I reasoned she wouldn’t be in my social life anymore so I had no need to have her on my list.  Over a year later I found out she had been really hurt by it.  Some take their removal better than others.  Some use defriending as a bitchy tool.

Facebook has millions of users who post even more millions of material onto the site.  FB has to curate this megalith of information and so uses a number of factors in determining which updates to post on your news feed.  This algorithm used to be called EdgeRank.  They don’t call it that anymore, and it’s probably much more complicated than it was but still amounts to the same thing:  the more rich engagement you engender, the more relevant and timely your content is then the more likely it will pop up.  This is true for both profiles (individuals) and pages (businesses or groups or more commercial entities).

Shockingly, on average roughly 16% of your page’s updates will be seen by your ‘likers.’

So, if I chat to my brother regularly on FB and like his photos, his appearance on my news feed will increase.  If I don’t engage with the pant wetting crier, it’s unlikely their current antics will drift onto my horizon.  It’s probably not worth defriending these people as Facebook is doing the hard work for you and you won’t hurt anyone’s feelings.  Although anyone who remembers the three golden rules of Facebook – be entertaining, tell someone something interesting or give them free stuff – keeps their ranking up and guarantees not only more propagation but will almost certainly dodge any cull.

Jon

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