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Believe It or Not, Social Media Algorithms Are Not This Scary

Believe It or Not, Social Media Algorithms Are Not This Scary

By: Aiza Gill

Sneaky, suspicious, and a bit manipulative. We would start this article this way if we did not know how exactly social media algorithms work. Spoiler alert: not like this.

Once in a while, we all find ourselves in the spiderweb of fastly changing content. It may feel like algorithms are enemies but they exist only to improve users’ experience. In the end, consuming content, or not consuming it is our choice only.

This article stands for the idea that everybody (whatever their lifestyle and goal are) should understand the Darkside of each social media. Whether a creator works hard to get tiktok likes, becomes an influencer on Instagram, or does not create content at all, here is a secret knowledge of how social media algorithms work. Of course, the easiest way to buy tiktok likes, but it is not the same.

Almost Each Social Media Has A News Feed

A news feed is usually a system that lists the newest and the best content published. TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and many other successful networks have it. And it works pretty well for bloggers, for businesses online, and for these networks themselves.

Originally, there are two standard algorithms used in those feeds:

  1. Time Spent on Platform: the system used for tracking how much time a customer has spent scrolling through the network
  2. Level of Engagement: the system used for tracking how often a customer engages with different types of content and different accounts

If we have to rank, the news feeds would be the main tool in the hands of social media giants. But the main factors used to rank content are different from platform to platform. Which ones do our Top 3 use?

YouTube

YouTube algorithms based on three metrics which called categories in the professional slang of the company:

  • Performance: if the video is interesting
  • Personalization: what a user prefers watching
  • Other factors: information on personal interests and categorisation

TikTok

Things are even easier with TikTok. The only metric that matters is its recommendation system.

This simple algorithm helps to understand what video should be shown first.

Facebook

Remember three powerful questions Facebook robots ask themselves every time you log in:

  • Who posted it?
  • Who liked it?
  • What does matter to this user?

The goal of this machine is to provide the most relevant content from sources a consumer already likes, and chooses as their favorite. At the end, every like and every connection decides on the content feed!

Know Algorithms Better to Become Better

Each algorithm in each system differs. Many things depend on the goal of providing content for its watchers. For example, eBay has algorithms too. But can we say that they are relevant to the ones discussed above?

For further understanding, you can check on books like “The Master Algorithm” by Pedro Domingos, or many others. It will help you to understand deeply how sneaky online algorithms work!

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