Facebook is cracking down on a new type of clickbait: Posts that ask people to “Like” or share or comment to increase engagement numbers, what Facebook is calling “engagement bait.”
You’ve probably seen posts like this in your feed. Like if you think cats are best. Share if you think dogs are best or sweep stake contests. It’s a tactic that publishers use to game Facebook’s algorithm, which rewards posts that get better engagement and shows them to more people.
Facebook has decided it doesn’t like publishers gaming the system this way, and claims users don’t like it either. “People have told us that they dislike spammy posts on Facebook that goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions,” the company wrote on its blog.
So posts that Facebook considers to be engagement bait will be pushed down in News Feed. Pages that continue to utilise this tactic will see their reach diminished for all of their posts.
Facebook tweaks its algorithm all the time to prioritise or de-prioritise certain types of content. Facebook recently announced an algorithm tweak intended to show users more video, and in the past it has cracked down on other types of spammy posts, like clickbait or links that send users to websites full of ads.