Facebook Cracks Down on Engagement Bait
You might be wondering: what is engagement bait? Why is Facebook “cracking down” on it?
“Engagement bait” includes any posts encouraging users to like, comment, share or tag a friend in the comments. Engagement bait is an umbrella term referring to various types of posts, including tag baiting (encouraging others to “tag a friend who likes…”); comment baiting (encouraging viewers to comment a particular word or phrase to agree with the post); vote baiting (encouraging others to like a post to vote one way and love a post to vote another); reaction baiting (encouraging others to react a certain way to either agree or disagree with a post); and share baiting (encouraging viewers to tag a friend for a particular incentive). Chances are if you’re active on Facebook, you’ve seen plenty of these posts from Pages you follow.
Why are these posts popular?
They entice users to engage with posts, which formerly gamed Facebook’s algorithm. By doing so, Facebook prioritized engagement bait posts in user’s Newsfeeds, meaning more users were viewing these often “spammy” posts.
Beginning this week, Facebook will start demoting engagement bait posts to reduce the spread of spammy, sensational or misleading information throughout the social media platform. Pages frequently posting engagement bait will see a drastic decrease in post reach. By reviewing and categorizing thousands of different engagement bait posts, Facebook taught a machine learning model to detect and weed out these posts from Newsfeeds.
However, don’t stress too much if your page is full of these types of posts. Facebook developers are giving users time to adapt to the new changes. Engagement bait demotions will be more strictly enforced in a few weeks. Posts asking for advice, help or recommendations won’t be affected by this new update.
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