The social media and American-based, billionaire company, Facebook, announced Monday that it would take down any account that tricks with its algorithm by making other users engage while employing – what brands call – “engagement bait” posts. According to its CEO and founder, Mark Zuckerberg, these methods unbalance people’s News Feed.
These strategies are mostly used by brands, but any kind of account can also take advantage of them. They call the attention of other users by making them give likes, comments or share content. Thus, even making the original page to always appear in the News Feed, and overshadowing those whose posts and ads appear entirely organically.
Facebook announced that its News Feed algorithm would start this week to erase individual “engagement bait” posts, but one day will ultimately take down any page or user who frequently publish these type of posts.
For the fortune of some, the social media will give several weeks to let the public adjust and forget about the bait posts.
The methods are also usually employed in contests. Some of them consist of asking people to do something on social media, to win a prize. One example would be “Tag five of your best friends,” or “Mention anyone who likes burgers and wins a meal.”
This is what Facebook called “engagement bait” posts.
The tech giant is looking for a cleaner Feed
To finish the strategies, Facebook asked the public early this year to target the accounts who employ them on social media. However, it didn’t work out, and the number of baits didn’t decrease much. This forced the spokespeople to announce the new ban.
“To help us 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,” a spokesperson wrote on the social media. “Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.”
Henry Silverman, Facebook’s newsfeed integrity specialist, and engineer Lin Huang wrote on the social media that people who use engagement bait tactics “should expect their reach (…) to decrease.” Also, they advised any page who “repeatedly share engagement bait posts” not to do it because they will see “more significant drops in reach.”
The company wrote that it would be strict and won’t let anyone mess with its algorithm. Also, it said that the users who seek to increase their engagement would have to “focus on posting relevant and meaningful stories.” It is suggested to hire an experienced Facebook marketing agency to comply with Facebook’s new quality guidelines.
This announcement came just after the giant tech talked about the 30-day “mute button” for people, pages, and groups. This will let them have more personal content in their Feed.