Facebook has just announced two new updates that it thinks will help weed out the amount of spam that shows up in your timeline.
First up, Facebook plans to penalize posts that encourage you to click a link without telling you much about it. In other words, “click bait.”
Here’s the example they give:
That kind of post is now a no-no. Facebook will begin checking engagement and stickiness to determine if its users found what they were looking for–or mislead into clicking on a post. The social network will use two different methods to determine if you’re using click bait:
One way is to look at how long people spend reading an article away from Facebook. If people click on an article and spend time reading it, it suggests they clicked through to something valuable…If a lot of people click on the link, but relatively few people click Like, or comment on the story when they return to Facebook, this also suggests that people didn’t click through to something that was valuable to them.
So, now you know not to trick people into clicking on the stories you post. Except, Facebook DOES want you to encourage them to click on links. Huh?
Apparently, you’re now supposed to make sure your URL remains in the status update itself. I often remove the actual URL for aesthetic reasons and rely on people to click on the image or caption headline. That is now another non-no.
With this update, we will prioritize showing links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions or status updates.
So you want this:
And not this:
This all reminds me of a Google update. “Hey, we’ve got this spam thing all figured out, but if you could self-correct it yourself, that would be helpful too.”