Facebook is cracking down on click-baiting in a bid to keep the News Feed topped up with high-quality content.
Facebook outlined its new hardline approach in a blog post.
“Today we’re announcing some improvements to News Feed to help people find the posts and links from publishers that are most interesting and relevant, and to continue to weed out stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don’t want to see,” Facebook explained.
Facebook will achieve this in two ways: penalising click-baiting headlines and promoting links in posts.
Click-baiting clamp down
Click-baiting refers to the posting of sensationalist headlines that encourages users to click through. Facebook revealed that 80% of users base their decision to click on an article based on the headline.
It follows that many click-baiting headlines can lead to greater engagement, pushing them further up the News Feed.
The problem is, the content click-bait headlines link to is often not interesting to users, drowning out more relevant posts.
Facebook is now looking more keenly at posts to determine whether they are click-bait.
If a link has a high bounce rate, or has a high number of clicks and little engagement, Facebook may now count this as click-bait and push it further down the News Feed.
Links in posts
Facebook is also changing the way it ranks posts. Previously, brands could score an easy win by posting a lovely large photo with a shortened link attached.
Now Facebook has revealed that users prefer direct links in posts, instead of just a photo and shortened link.
Facebook explains this gives users a better idea of the content they're clicking on, and the platform is now prioritising posts with direct links over photos with shortened links.
This new ruling applies to all post types including status updates, photos and video.
So how will this affect brand Pages? Unless you're one of the small amount of publishers who peddle click-bait, not very much.
In fact, many brands might see a boost if they're boosting relevant content.
Otherwise, make the easy switch to direct links for all posts and keep the Facebook gods happy.
To find out more visit newsroom.fb.com.
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