The End of ‘Like-Baiting’ on Facebook?

By Evan LePage | 1 year ago | No Comments

We’ve all seen one of these posts. A person or business explicitly requesting likes, shares and comments to increase the engagement around their Facebook posts, without actually providing any content of value. Well Facebook dubs these types of posts “Like-Baiting,” and they’ve made some changes to try and suppress them in your news feed.

According to a new blog post, Facebook surveyed users and asked them to rate the quality of these stories. Although like-baiting posts get a lot of engagement, people rate them on average 15% less relevant than other stories with the same level of engagement. With that in mind, Facebook has changed its algorithm—the formula that determines what content you see on your news feed and what content gets left out—in order to push Like-Baiting into the background and surface more relevant and valuable content.

The change doesn’t mean you should stop pushing for engagement on Facebook posts. “This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for Likes, Comments and Shares,” Facebook clarified.

Facebook also announced that it is working to reduce the presence of “frequently circulated content,” which refers to photos or videos uploaded again and again by your friends, and “spammy links,” or links whose language is unclear to purposely trick you into clicking.

Facebook Algorithm Changes Continue

These updates are only the latest in a series of recent algorithm changes from Facebook aimed at cleaning up your news feed.

In January, Facebook changed its algorithm to reduce the number of “text status updates” from Pages that appear in your news feed. The change forces brands to share images or videos with almost every post or risk drastically losing the reach they get.

While Facebook presents its algorithm changes as positive updates reflecting the interests of users, it’s clear that brand Pages have been hurting as a result. The organic reach of brand Pages has dropped significantly in the last few months, even among ‘viral content’ brands like Upworthy (-50% Facebook referrals), Viral Nova (-62% Facebook referrals) and Distractify (-84% Facebook referrals) according to comScore.

An anonymous “source professionally familiar with Facebook’s marketing strategy” told Valleywag that the social network was reducing Page reach to 1-2% of your audience per post in order to drive up advertising revenue. Whether or not this is true, brands absolutely need to keep up with algorithm changes when planning out their Facebook strategy moving forward, especially if they don’t have the budget to buy Facebook ads.

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KateDoster 5pts

Excellent article. Like DiningTraveler, I've been having a hard time getting my Facebook Page to 100 likes and beyond.

BryanCollin 5pts

What if i ask them to "Like my page for more stories" and put that at the end of a post is that also considered Like Baiting?

evanlepage moderator 5pts

@BryanCollin Hi Bryan. I don't think so, but this question is probably more suited for a Facebook representative! Thanks for commenting.

DiningTraveler 5pts

Thanks for sharing. This explains why my Facebook page hasn't been as successful as I've wanted it to be.

JD 5pts

I want to be the one to decide which content to see. These algorithms are invasive and can't be deactivated.

RyanCarson1 5pts

I keep paying for engagement it reache thousan of people but no one wants to click. I want reach more of my likes because they are more than likely to click and buy. I dont think likes shou be so important. The issue at the moment if you dont get a click on FB somehow you will move down. You get a like, comment, share you move up.  This is the main reason to pay to promote.  Be interesting to see how FB makes it work better.

HeatherHudson 5pts

I tried to pay to boost a post and because my logo is text I was told it breached fb rules... so how am I supposed to get reach?!?!?  I questioned it and they wouldn't budge!

So on one hand they're trying to stop like-baiting with pictures but then won't let you pay to boost text posts!!!  They are making it impossible to use a facebook page to promote your business!

ETusty 5pts

I find that my text statuses get me more views, than those with images or links. 

DeadSc0tt 5pts

In theory, this should be applauded but the cynicist in me can't help but think this is just a smokescreen while they actually target genuine brands who can't spend money on paid ads.