In its effort to demote posts that go against one of its key News Feed values – authenticity – Facebook is now cracking down on so-called “engagement bait.”
Remember clickbait? Yes, that one; the use of sensational headlines or other tactics to get people to click on a post that leads to a landing page filled with ads but devoid of substance. Very annoying. Well, Facebook tackled that one a while ago. Now, it’s set its sights on “engagement bait,” another very annoying habit that Pages – trying to game News Feed – exhibited more and more often nowadays.
In case you’re wondering, engagement baiting is a tactic to increase engagement on a post, in order to gain more reach. Engagement bait posts use statements such as “LIKE this if…” or “Tag a friend…” or “Comment if you…” You know what I’m referring to.
So, Facebook has had enough, and is starting this week to demote posts from people or Pages that use the tactic. Facebook‘s teams have already “reviewed and categorized hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait” and from now on, posts using this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.
Furthermore, Pages that “systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed” will face a stricter demotion. Page-level demotion will be rolling out within the next few weeks, to give Pages the time to tailor their strategies. And by the way, Facebook will not be demoting posts that ask for help, advice, or recommendations – i.e. “circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips.”
You can be sure that posts that are not authentic – will be demoted.
If you’re wondering what this means for you and/or your Page? Well, Facebook says that publishers and businesses that use engagement bait tactics will see their reach to decrease. As I explained above, repeat offenders will see “more significant” drop in reach. As always, if you want to avoid these implications, simply “focus on posting relevant and meaningful stories.”
You can find out more about engagement bait tactics, here.