Facebook to Crack Down on "Engagement Bait" - What You Need to Know

Facebook to Crack Down on “Engagement Bait” – What You Need to Know


Facebook Engagement BaitYesterday Facebook posted an update on their newsroom page announcing that they will begin ‘demoting’ posts and pages that actively use “engagement bait” to encourage Likes, Shares and Comments to boost their reach.

This is a very significant development…read on…

Facebook to Crack Down on “Engagement Bait” – What You Need to Know [VIDEO]

What is Facebook Engagement Bait?

Facebook classifies this as follows:

…People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions. For example, “LIKE this if you’re an Aries!” This tactic, known as “engagement bait,” seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach.

What does this mean specifically?

Like the example in Facebook’s quote above, any time you try to incentivize Likes, Shares and Comments (“LIKE this if you’re an Aries!”) Facebook is going to reduce your reach in the newsfeed.

Additionally, your entire page’s overall reach is at risk if you continue to ‘bait’ users in to interacting with your content:

…over the coming weeks, we will begin implementing stricter demotions for Pages that systematically and repeatedly use engagement bait to artificially gain reach in News Feed. – Facebook

NOTE: Facebook did not mention whether personal profiles would be affected as well but I’m assuming they are included (if anyone has information on this please add a comment).

Facebook is SERIOUS About Engagement Bait!

You need no more proof than the following entry from their post:

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. Posts that use this tactic will be shown less in News Feed.

They’ve taken the trouble build their own dataset to weed out pages that employ this practice and catch the offenders! Take this very seriously people!!

So What Can You Post or not Post??

To be honest, that’s a good question. In my opinion, they do not want us posting ANYTHING that asks for a social interaction to boost a post.

Here are some examples of what I think they want to eliminate:

“Tag a friend who would love this!”

“Vote with a ‘Like’ if you want X, Vote with a ‘Heart’ if you want Y” (known as ‘Social voting’ and they cite an example in their news post)

“DO YOU AGREE?👍 Would love to hear your comments below.”

“Also, don’t forget to share if you like the video.”

Those last two are what I frequently put on my posts. Looks like I’m going to go back and start removing those. 🙁

Am I Sure We Can’t ‘Incentivize’ Anything?

No, I am not sure. Nobody is. Only Facebook knows for certain. Your best bet is to post quality content and let people interact with your posts on their own without you incentivizing them. The alternative is risking getting your pages whacked my Facebook’s stout hammer.

And you don’t want that!

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Going forward, be aware of your posting practices to make sure you’re compliant to give your page(s) the best chance at success.

If you know anyone that would benefit from this development please share this with them.

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