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No one likes their Facebook timeline getting flooded with spammy posts that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, "Like this if you are an Aries!" Known as "engagement bait", this tactic takes advantage of Facebook's News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.
Well, Facebook has announced that they will start demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait. In order to foster more authentic engagement, 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.
They 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. Not only this, the social network giant will continue to find ways to improve and scale their efforts to reduce engagement bait.
It is worth noting that, posts asking 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.
Facebook will only demote posts that go against one of their key News Feed values, which is authenticity. Similar to Facebook's other recent efforts to demote clickbait headlines and links to low-quality web page experiences, they want to reduce the spread of content that is spammy, 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, said Facebook in a blog post.