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Facebook’s EdgeRank is the elusive, mystical formula that calculates whether your story is interesting enough to be featured on your friends’ newsfeeds. One site compared the EdgeRank to a credit history: It’s important, unique to each user, invisible, and no one knows exactly how it works. Mathematically stated, the EdgeRank formula would look something like this:
Confused? Yeah, me too. The important thing to know is that the higher your EdgeRank rating, the more people see what you post, and the more viral your content becomes. So it’s especially important to brands that are focused on social media to maintain a high EdgeRank. You can check out this blog for more info about the EdgeRank and how to raise yours.
But that blog won’t tell you about the newest and fastest way to raise your score: pay money.Ever since its lukewarm public offering, Facebook has struggled to come up with ways to prove that social networks can be profitable. So far, their answer seems to be to charge users with new fees to optimize their EdgeRank.
That’s right, you can now use cash to amplify your reach – and your normal Facebook posts conveniently reach a mere 12% of your fans on average. That means that the $15 billion company is withholding your posts from 88% of your fans – unless you fork over some dough. It might be cynical to say that Facebook is artificially hiding your posts for the sake of profit; then again, it might be the truth.
Of course, the entire purpose of the EdgeRank algorithm is to populate your newsfeed with stories that Facebook thinks you want to read – and the notion of robots predicting human behavior is inherently problematic (you can read an earlier discussion about that issue here).
What do you guys think? Is the pay-to-promote option a valuable service, or is Facebook trying to jump start its own economy?