Continuing its quest to improve the quality of content on users’ News Feeds, Facebook today announced changes that it said will reduce the visibility of pandering posts and outright spam.
Facebook has set its targets on publishers of Pages “that deliberately try and game News Feed to get more distribution than they normally would.”
The specific abuses?
- Like-baiting: begging for users to like, comment or share a post (see screenshot above for an especially shameless example). Facebook said users find posts with such calls to action 15% less relevant than other posts attracting similar levels of engagement.
- Frequently circulated content: Facebook said users often complain about Pages that regularly re-run photos and videos that have been popular on the network. Early testing of the News Feed changes, Facebook said, has caused “people to hide 10% fewer stories from Pages overall.”
- Spammy links: using inaccurate language or formatting to entice clicks through to ad farms or low-quality content aggregators. By using click-though, liking and sharing data, Facebook is now better able to identify such posts and said in early testing it has seen a “5% increase in people on Facebook clicking on links that take them off of Facebook – this is a big increase in the context of News Feed and is a good sign that people are finding the remaining content in their News Feed more relevant and trustworthy.”
Facebook said the majority of Page publishers don’t have to worry about repercussions from the change and “if anything, may see a very small increase in News Feed distribution.”