Facebook Hits Back Against Like-Bait Posts In News Feed

Facebook announced yesterday that it was taking action to clean up users’ news feeds to make for a much more pleasurable and enjoyable experience.

So what are the key changes they’re planning on making?

No More Like Baits

You know those horribly annoying posts that can fill up your news feed from time to time. Those ones that say something along the lines of ‘Like for option A, comment for option B, share for option C and ignore if you’re a godless satanical heathen with no moral compass’? Ok maybe that is a bit of an exaggeration but you know the ones I mean. Well Facebook is clamping down heavily on them.

like-baiting-screenshot

Things like the image above will be getting a lot less importance in your news feed from now on.

To quote directly from Facebook’s news release:

The improvement we are making today better detects these stories and helps ensure that they are not shown more prominently in News Feed than more relevant stories from friends and other Pages. This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for Likes, Comments and Shares.

So what this means is what I have always said – if you are trying to provide genuinely engaging, interesting content that your fans will like and want to interact with anyway, there is absolutely no need to bed for likes, comments and shares.

Quality content providers will still win out, based one what can be read from Facebook’s update. If you fall into this category, you can probably expect to see some sort of boost to your news feed visibility.

Frequently Circulated Content

Say an image goes viral, because of lots of likes, comments and shares. Great for the original uploader. And not bad for the end user because Facebook merges likes and shares when it shows up in your news feed.

However if someone downloads that image or video and then uploads it to their own profile, and say this happens a few times by others as well, then Facebook won’t be allowing it to show up in the news feed any more.

Spam Links

Some stories in News Feed use inaccurate language or formatting to try and trick people into clicking through to a website that contains only ads or a combination of frequently circulated content and ads. For instance, often these stories claim to link to a photo album but instead take the viewer to a website with just ads.

By measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends, we’ve been able to better detect spammy links. The update we are making today improves News Feed to reduce cases of these spammy links, and in our early testing we’ve seen a 5% increase in people on Facebook clicking on links that take them off of Facebook – this is a big increase in the context of News Feed and is a good sign that people are finding the remaining content in their News Feed more relevant and trustworthy.

Overall Impact

If you post genuinely interesting, high quality content that the fans on your page like to engage with, Facebook is actually doing you a favour here. You’ll probably get better visibility as spam and like-bait gets drowned out.

If however you post spammy links, like bait or that sort of thing, you may will need to rethink your Facebook strategy.

Check Also

Real Time Business Building – Part 1 – 9 June 2013

As a sort of relaunch for this blog, I thought it’d be a great idea …