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July 10, 2023
April 8, 2024

Everything You Need to Know About the Facebook Ads Algorithm

Gouri Sasidharan

Everything You Need to Know About the Facebook Ads Algorithm

July 3, 2023
April 8, 2024
Gouri Sasidharan


You may have noticed that your Facebook ads are not performing as they did before or not showing up as often across users’ feeds. 

You may also have heard about how the Facebook algorithm is messing with every brand’s ad strategies. 

Today, let’s talk about how you can befriend the Facebook ad algorithm and work your way to running successful ad campaigns.

Facebook ad algorithm: Introduction

Facebook ads algorithm is a complex system developed by Facebook to determine the placement and targeting of ads on its platform. The algorithm's primary goal is to match ads with relevant users who are likely to engage with the content and take the desired action, such as clicking, liking, or making a purchase. 

Facebook's algorithm is driven by factors such as user engagement, ad popularity, relevance, time sensitivity, and user networks. 

Factors of Facebook algorithm

Why ad algorithm is important?

The answer is simple — if you want your Facebook ads to rank at the top, the Facebook algorithm can help you. That is if you follow all the rules and guidelines set by the algorithm. When you create ads that appeal to Facebook’s algorithm, it’s likely to pick up your ads and it will be the first or second thing your target audience would see on their feed. This gives you an advantage over your competitors. But how do you nail it? Read more to find out.

A look into the Facebook algorithm: 2020-2022

Facebook introduced several updates to its ad algorithm to improve ad delivery, targeting, and user experience. Here are some notable updates from the recent timeline of 2020 to 2022.

2020: Personalized advertising

How many times have personalized ads helped boost in customer engagement? Facebook displays ads on users’ feeds for the posts they have previously interacted with. It could be clicking or liking it. From the information they receive of the user liking or following a page, Facebook customizes their feed along with relevant ads. It even gives users the choice to control which ads they want to see on Facebook if they don’t like a particular ad.

2021: Machine learning

With over 3 billion users, we know it’s hard to personalize ads for every user. That’s where machine learning comes in. In 2021, Facebook posted a detailed explanation of how the feed predicts what users want to see. As part of the report, it explained why machine learning creates predictions for what users see in their feeds based on what and who they follow, like, or engage with. It filters out unnecessary ads based on the

Facebook ads eligibility check
Source: Facebook

2022: AI

The Facebook algorithm advanced towards greater user control last year and added more advanced AI systems to its usage of machine learning techniques. Every time a user saw a post or an ad, they were offered a new option: the "Show More/Show Less" feature. If "Show More" is chosen, the ranking score for that post will rise, increasing the chance that the user will see a similar post. When "Show Less" is chosen, the opposite would take place.

These updates reflect Facebook's ongoing efforts to enhance user privacy, improve ad targeting capabilities, and adapt to changes in the digital advertising landscape. You should stay informed about these updates and adjust your strategies to ensure optimal performance and compliance with Facebook's guidelines.

Facebook ads algorithm at present 

Now coming to 2023, the AI-powered, user-centric model has evolved to provide users with relevant ads. It considers 4 factors before delivering an ad to the user:

1. Inventory

The algorithm looks into the possible ads that could show up on a user’s feed based on their previous activities or engagement with a particular brand or page.

2. Signals

Then it analyzes the relevance of the ad based on numerous signals such as its publisher, time of posting, age, etc. Facebook should pick up your ad based on the signals the user finds relevant.

3. Predictions

Let’s say a user loves gardening and watches home gardening videos from a particular page. The algorithm picks this up and understands how they are likely to interact with the ad based on their clicks or views, shooting more ads for gardening supplies at them.

4. Relevancy scoring

From the selected bunch of ads, the algorithm gives scores to the content depending on how likely the user would be to engage with it. The higher the score, the higher it appears on the user’s feed.

Ads relevance score

9 useful tips for syncing with Facebook’s ad algorithm

With over 10 million active advertisers on Facebook in 2023, it is not surprising that it is hard to win in the algorithm's favor to stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips to help you navigate and work harmoniously with the Facebook ads algorithm:

Understand your target audience

Thoroughly research and understand your target audience. Leverage Facebook's targeting options to narrow down your audience based on demographics, interests, behaviors, and other relevant criteria. The more specific and accurate your targeting, the better the algorithm can match your ads with the right audience.

Create quality and relevant content

Craft ad creatives that are visually appealing and resonate with your target audience. Use high-quality images or videos and write catchy ad copy. Tailor your content to address the needs, interests, and pain points of your target audience, increasing the chances of engagement and conversions.

Include video ads

Video ads on Facebook offer a dynamic and engaging way to connect with your audience. Ensure your video ads reflect your brand voice and include attractive copy and visuals to convey your message within a short timeframe. This could have a high chance of appearing on top of the user’s feed. Additionally, select the right ad placements based on your campaign goals, whether it's in-stream videos, stories, or the news feed. 

Screenshot of a video ad
Source: Facebook

Avoid clickbait or engagement bait

Compelling your audience to like and share your post is regarded as engagement baiting which doesn’t add value for users. This kind of action is against Facebook’s algorithm and it will be penalized. Keeping this in mind when developing Facebook ads is important.

An engagement bait ad on Facebook

Monitor and analyze campaign performance

Regularly monitor your ad campaign performance. Analyze key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and cost per result. Identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. Use the data to make data-driven optimizations, such as adjusting targeting, budget allocation, or creative elements, to improve campaign performance. 

Also read: 8 Marketing Metrics That Can Help You Measure the Effectiveness of an Ad Campaign

A creative automation tool like Artwork Flow can help you drive ROI by monitoring your ad campaigns and personalizing your ad creatives for you.

Test different ad formats and variations

Experiment with different ad formats, such as images, videos, carousels, or collections, to see which ones perform best with your audience. Create variations of your ads, including different ad copy, visuals, and calls to action. Conduct A/B tests to compare the performance of distinct elements and optimize your campaigns based on the results.

Also read: Facebook Ad Sizes and Specs for 2023

Prevent ad fatigue

Ensure your ads do not become repetitive or intrusive to your audience. Keep an eye on ad frequency and make adjustments to prevent ad fatigue. Also, focus on maintaining ad relevance by aligning your content with the audience's interests, preferences, and behaviors. Relevance can positively affect ad delivery and engagement.

Optimize your landing pages

Your landing page is the first thing people will see after they click on your ad, so it's important to make sure it's well-designed and easy to navigate.

Stay up-to-date with Facebook's guidelines and updates

Last but not least, Facebook regularly updates its advertising policies and guidelines. Stay informed about any changes to ensure compliance and take advantage of new features or optimization opportunities introduced by Facebook. Subscribe to official Facebook resources including newsletters, to stay updated.

Key takeaway

Overall, the Facebook ads algorithm shows users the ads that are most relevant to them and most likely to interest them. By understanding how the algorithm works, businesses can create more effective Facebook ad campaigns that reach their target audience and achieve their advertising goals. To achieve this, learning and aligning your advertising strategies with the Facebook ads algorithm is crucial.

From creation to optimization to distribution of your ads, Artwork Flow’s creative management platform makes your complete advertising strategy process easier. It offers powerful features like creative intelligence, creative scaling, and AI-powered proofing for a stress-free creative process.

To learn more, sign up for a 7-day free trial or book a demo!

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