Tech Overlook

How Facebook Search Works, in Under Two Minutes


By Yee Lee, Product Manager

We’ve explored a variety of hard topics on Inside Feed, such as our fight against false news and how we’re working to prevent election interference.

These aren’t the only areas where we want to get to the bottom of how our products work. Search functionality is a key topic of conversation within the tech industry, from questions about how social media sites surface political accounts to potential bias in search results.

We want to be more transparent about what happens when you search for content on Facebook. So to help set the stage, we created a video to help the people who use Facebook understand the fundamentals of how it works — most importantly, that while search results are influenced by people’s activity on Facebook, they’re not influenced by searches done off of Facebook.

When you search for content on Facebook, the results you see are ranked based on your activity and the activity of the Facebook community. How much each affects the search results you see changes depending on what you search for, which helps make sure the content you see is relevant and useful.

Your Facebook activity that may influence your search results includes what your friends share with you, Pages you follow, Groups you’ve joined, events you’ve liked or followed, things you’ve interacted with in your News Feed, information you’ve listed on your profile, places where you’ve been tagged, and previous searches you’ve done. Your Facebook search results are also based on general Facebook community activity, including the popularity of whatever you’re searching for and how recently it was posted.

Whatever you search for on the rest of the internet will not influence what you see when you search on Facebook.

All content that you see on Facebook is governed by the Facebook Community Standards. These Community Standards are developed by Facebook and the community in partnership with a global team of experts and non-governmental organizations. If you see something that you think may violate our Community Standards, you can always report it to us.

These are some of the steps we’re taking to make sure that Facebook is a place of expression and fun while also maintaining a safe environment for everyone.

See also:
News Feed Ranking in Three Minutes Flat



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