The first element considered by the Facebook algorithm is your interface language. The two main interfaces inspected are your browser and the Facebook interface. If your Facebook is in French and so is your browser, you are far more likely to be shown content in French. The algorithm automatically takes into account that you are a francophone user. If you’re using a French-English combination, the probability of seeing English content tends to go up.
Facebook, along with Google, is an expert data collector. In spite of the fact that the data is anonymized, the platform has an enormous amount of information about us. Whether it’s through engagement with content, the last time you were tagged at a restaurant (double the data if your tartare ended up on Instagram) or the information contained in your profile, Facebook is able to sort you into various audience groups based on all these criteria. These things also factor into the definition of what content the platform will show you. A very important element that’s taken into consideration is the languages that you’ve included in your profile. If you’ve identified that you speak French and English, the algorithm considers you to be able to understand content displayed in your second language. Before you jump to adjust your profile, there’s still one more element to cover that the algorithm attributes a lot of significance to.
Every day, millions of users like, comment, and share content on Facebook. This engagement we generate on Facebook plays an important role in the content we see in the Newsfeed. If, for example, you like a video shared by your friend and this video came from an English page, the algorithm takes that into account. Think about all the Facebook pages you’ve liked over the years and the English content you’ve liked or shared. This information has an impact on the future content you’ll be shown. With the rapid rise of video, that we often watch without sound, sometimes we’re not even aware that we’re engaging with English content.
To conclude, the Facebook algorithm takes a combination of factors into consideration, all of which influence the content in your newsfeed. Because of the historic and demographic realities in Quebec and Canada, we are among the users most likely to be exposed to this phenomenon. Unfortunately, there is no miracle solution to guarantee that we’ll only see content in our mother tongue. All we can do is wait for Facebook to adapt their algorithm to refine the way content is distributed in highly bilingual markets.