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Facebook reduces reach of pages and individuals who use engagement bait

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by Surabhi Nijhawan

Starting this week, Facebook will be reducing posts that follow engagement bait. ‘Like this if you are a libra’ or ‘Share this with your friends to win a trip’ are the kind of posts that will be demoted by Facebook.

‘This tactic, known as “engagement bait,” seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement to get greater reach. So, starting this week, we will begin demoting individual posts from people and Pages that use engagement bait’ the company added. 

However, few of the Facebook pages will be exempted from this move. ‘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’ read the post.

Facebook will be using a machine learning model that will spot various engagement bait posts, reducing the visibility of such posts.

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In the coming weeks, the company will implement stricter demolitions that continuously use engagement bait to rank higher in the News Feed.

Last year, Facebook was criticised as being a source of spam and fake news. This move is in sync to reduce content that is ‘spammy, sensational and misleading.’ said the company.

How will this affect publishers?

‘Publishers and other businesses that use engagement bait tactics in their posts should expect their reach on these posts to decrease. Meanwhile, Pages that repeatedly share engagement bait posts will see more significant drops in reach. Page Admins should continue to focus on posting relevant and meaningful stories that do not use engagement bait tactics’ read the blog post.

‘We will roll out this Page-level demotion over the course of several weeks to give publishers time to adapt and avoid inadvertently using engagement bait in their posts. Moving forward, we will continue to find ways to improve and scale our efforts to reduce engagement bait’ the company added.

Recent changes to Facebook’s News Feed

This change to Facebook’s news algorithm comes days after other changes put together by Facebook that includes encouraging more video content by publishers, the snooze and take a break tool.

Facebook’s move to push more video content has reduced the organic reach of publishers.

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On the other hand, Snooze that allows you to hide a person, page or a group for 30 days without getting rid of them permanently. Take a break is launched to limit interaction with exes.

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