Facebook is cracking down on “engagement bait.” If you’re unfamiliar with the term (it’s nowhere near as ubiquitous as “clickbait”), chances are you’ve been exposed to or probably seen an “engagement bait-y” post in your timeline. They use phrases like:
“Like this if…” “Share if you…” “Vote to…” “Tag a friend who…”
Facebook’s modified algorithm will now downrank posts in the News Feed that employ such tactics, meaning fewer people will see them. The Facebook News Feed doesn’t list posts in a chronological order. Rather, it’s curated by an algorithm, which Facebook says filters out content it perceives as “low quality.”
The move creates serious consequences for pages that repeatedly use this tactic. In addition to downranking individual posts, Facebook says that pages that continually use engagement bait tactics will be penalized. This change has been a long time coming, driven with the push by Facebook driven by a want to ensure authenticity on the News Feed, and stop people gaming the system.