In an attempt to retain its emphasis on authenticity, Facebook has just announced that it will be demoting posts that ask for likes, comments, or tags to increase engagement.
The posts, coined “engagement bait” usually prompt the reader to “tag a friend that needs this!” or, “comment YES if you agree!” These posts are usually prioritized higher in the News Feeds due to the amount of engagement they receive, although the content of the post may be low quality or “spammy.”
In just the first move of an ongoing plan to continually improve and scale efforts to reduce engagement bait, individual posts from people and pages will be demoted. Within a few weeks, Facebook will continue their crackdown on a much broader scale to include the demotion of entire pages that repeatedly employ engagement bait to boost interactions.
This is not the first time that Facebook has had a hand in what you see or don’t see in your News Feed. Earlier in the year the social media giant began demoting articles with “clickbait” headlines and prevented pages that consistently promote low quality, ad-filled articles from purchasing their own ads on Facebook.
These changes are coming on the heels of a recently published study which claimed that individuals who passively use Facebook (just reading or liking posts or articles) within a 10 minute reading period were in a worse mood at the end of the day than a user who spent the 10 minutes using the platform actively by conversing with friends or writing their own post.
Facebook claims that the changes will not adversely affect posts that ask for advice, help, or recommendations.