To stop spammy posts that drag users in an “engagement bait” by further goading them to interact with likes, shares, comments, and other actions, Facebook will now start demoting posts that use “engagement bait”.
Wondering what a “engagement bait” is, here is an example. “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” This tactic is known as “engagement bait,” and according to Facebook these posts take advantage of News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.
To make engagement on Facebook as authentic as possible, teams at Facebook have reviewed and categorised hundreds of thousands of posts to inform a machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait. From now onwards, posts that use this goofy tactic will be shown less in News Feed.
Facebook, over the coming weeks, will put stricter demotions for Pages that consistently use “engagement bait” to artificially gain wider audience in News Feed. These Page-level demotions will be rolled out in the coming weeks to give publishers time to adapt and avoid inadvertently using engagement bait in their posts.
In addition to updates that reduces clickbait posts, Facebook in August, announced two new updates that will limit the spread of stories in News Feed that feature either fake video play buttons embedded in their imagery or videos of only a static image.
Posts that ask 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 said.
Instead, demotion will go against one of Facebook’s key News Feed values -- authenticity. The company had previously implemented several measures and also updated their News Feed algorithm to demote posts with clickbait headlines and links to low-quality web page experiences.
Publishers and other businesses that have till now used engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease. Additionally, Pages that repeatedly share engagement bait posts will see a significant drop in reach.