On the 18th of December Facebook gifted us with the news that engagement focused posts that “spam” our Facebook feeds with “Click Bait” titles will be a thing of the past as they roll out an algorithm driven bot to lower the reach of these posts/pages.
People have told Facebook that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” This tactic, known as “engagement bait,” seeks to take advantage of Facebook’s News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.
So, starting this week, Facebook will begin demoting individual posts
from people and Pages that use engagement bait.
To help Facebok foster more authentic engagement, teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait. Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.
Additionally, over the coming weeks, Facebook will begin implementing stricter demotions for Pages that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed. Facebook will roll out this Page-level demotion over the course of several weeks to give publishers time to adapt and avoid inadvertently using engagement bait in their posts. Moving forward, Facebook will continue to find ways to improve and scale their efforts to reduce engagement bait.
Posts that ask people for help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips, will not be adversely impacted by this update.
Instead, Facebook will demote posts that go against one of Facebook’s key News Feed values — authenticity. Similar to their other recent efforts to demote clickbait headlines and links to low-quality web page experiences, Facebook want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy (sic), sensational, or misleading in order to promote more meaningful and authentic conversations on Facebook.
How will this impact Pages?
Publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease.
Meanwhile, Pages that repeatedly share engagement bait posts will see more significant drops in reach.
Page Admins should continue to focus on posting relevant and meaningful stories that do not use engagement bait tactics.
This may come into play for a lot of bloggers/business pages who encourage readers to Like, Share and Tag other Facebook users in order to enter a competition.