Facebook introduces engagement bait screening algorithm to improve posts

facebook engagement bait clickbait

Posts designed exclusively to make users click won’t be making it to the newsfeed as often.

Facebook newsfeed have become exceptionally crowded, and many of the posts are designed specifically as engagement bait, attempting to force users to click. This form of social media clickbait is making newsfeeds cluttered and unpleasant for users.

Users have become frustrated and their complaints have been heard, causing Facebook to alter its algorithms.

The new Facebook algorithm is meant to screen the engagement bait posts to reduce their likelihood of appearing in a user’s newsfeed. This was announced within the social network’s official blog. It pointed out that clickbait would be demoted from both posts and pages as of this week. It is aiming to give bigger priority to posts that are organic and encourage more natural interactions instead of those designed to force users to click and react instead of providing quality content.

Facebook has defined engagement bait posts as those designed to “artificially” encourage interaction.

facebook engagement bait clickbaitMany of these types of post are very easy to identify as they look quite similar to spam. “Like this post if you’re a Taurus” or “Share this on your wall if you think puppies are cute.” Facebook has carefully reviewed thousands of posts of this nature and has categorized them in order to improve its news feed algorithm. This way, the spam-like clickbait posts can be automatically filtered out and won’t appear as frequently in the user’s newsfeed.

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Furthermore, Facebook is updating its pages policy in order to make them more strict. The goal is to reduce the practice of “systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach.” Those rules, like the new algorithm, will roll out next week.

Publishers are being advised to keep this in mind as they design their upcoming posts. The reason is that if pages are found to consistently take part in clickbait tactic use will start to see a decline in the number of views received by their posts.

Facebook acknowledges that its algorithm won’t be able to screen out all posts using engagement bait. Moreover, certain forms of it will remain allowable without penalty, such as posts asking for charitable donations or showing the picture of a missing child. Those may have a similar style to clickbait but are acknowledged to be “authentic engagement” by Facebook.

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