Facebook is on the hunt for spam and has introduced three measures to combat the irrelevant content that clogs many users' news feeds.
The first targets what Facebook calls "like-baiting," or posts that straight-up ask news feed browsers to like, comment or share a post in order to circulate it more widely than it would normally reach.
Call-to-actions typically work, thus thrusting like-baiting posts to the top of the news feed spotlight. However, that doesn't change their spam status, and users reportedly find these types of stories 15% less relevant than other posts with a similar number of likes, comments and shares.
Facebook's like-baiting solution will supposedly better detect these stories and keep them from appearing in prominent places on the news feed. Pages "genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans" won't be affected, and the initial implementation will focus on Pages that frequently ask for likes, comments and shares.
The second area Facebook is looking to improve is frequently circulated content, or photos and videos that are posted ad naseum.
Repetition doesn't always equate to relevancy, so in that vein Facebook is moving to de-emphasize the Pages that frequently post the same photos and videos.
Finally, Facebook has set its sights on spammy links in misleading posts, such as those that claim to contain a photo album but really take clickers to a website full of ads.
Facebook's method to address the problem is pretty nuanced; it's figured out how to detect spammy links by measuring how frequently people visiting a link choose to like the original post or share it.
This isn't the first time Facebook has tinkered with its news feed algorithm, and it certainly won't be the last. Hopefully with today's changes, we see more like/comment/share-worthy posts and less spam stream through our feeds.
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