Facebook announced a few changes last week. Apparently they are cleaning up their feeds, making a ‘series of improvements’, and taking decisive action against certain practices in an effort to remove ‘spammy’ items from their feed. They are targeting three main areas:
- Frequently circulated content
- Spammy Links
What is Like-Baiting?
Like-baiting is when a post requests news feed readers ‘like’, ‘comment’, or ‘share’ the post with their network. Businesses do this a lot, but it’s a pretty common practice that is not by any means restricted to business users and requesting such shares has been an accepted practice for a long time. Facebook are now saying many such posts are often published by pages that ‘deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would’ and state many users complain such content is spam and say they don’t want to see it. New changes to Facebook’s system will detect such posts and prevent them from featuring too prominently in the feeds.
What’s the Problem with Frequently Circulated Content?
People and pages on Facebook often reshare interesting content. The share facility is one of Facebook’s core benefits, but Facebook are now saying some content is uploaded again and again:
“People and Pages on Facebook frequently reshare great content, but people tell us there are occasionally instances where photos or videos are uploaded to Facebook over and over again. We’ve found that people tend to find these instances of repeated content less relevant.”
Facebook promise such content will be de-emphasized from the news feed.
Facebook is also getting tough with content that uses ‘inaccurate language or formatting to try and trick people into clicking through to a website that contains only ads or a combination of frequently circulated content and ads.’ This is understandable and taking action makes sense, but their stance against like-baiting and frequently circulated content is perhaps a little harsh.
Why is Facebook Making These Changes?
Facebook claims the changes are designed to improve user experience, and tackling spammy links will certainly achieve this, but many internet marketers believe Facebook is trying to limit the amount of free advertising businesses receive so they can force them to use Facebook’s Paid advertising services.
Will My Business be Affected by Facebook’s changes?
It seems likely that many online businesses will experience a decline in their Facebook traffic.
Is there a Way Forward?
- Never ask for comments, likes, or shares
- Create fresh, shareable (informative, funny etc.)
- Ditch the spammy links for good
- Keep your fingers crossed
- Repeat steps 2 and 4
- Rinse and repeat step 5