On December 18, 2017, Facebook announced in a press release, that users had expressed distaste for “spammy posts [which] goad them into interacting with likes, shares, comments, and other actions.” They also stated that “this tactic, known as “engagement bait,” seeks to take advantage of our News Feed algorithm by boosting engagement in order to get greater reach. “
The press release included as examples “vote baiting” (using Facebook reactions as an informal poll), “react baiting” (instructing users to like a post to express one reaction or share to express the other), and “share baiting” (a broader category where sharing of the post would be rewarded in the form of a contest or other incentive).
In addition, Facebook illustrated two other forms of engagement baiting, one which sought to generate engagement by asking users to tag friends and the other soliciting specific comments to express a popular opinion.
A machine learning model that can detect different types of engagement bait has been implemented by Facebook. Posts that are identified as using these tactics will be ranked lower in the news feed effectively limiting their reach.
It is important to note according to Facebook your post seeking “help, advice, or recommendations, such as circulating a missing child report, raising money for a cause, or asking for travel tips” would be unaffected. Posts that seek advice and recommendations are excellent ways to encourage engagement on your FB Page and/or your FB Group.
If you have any questions or would like help with creating engaging content that will organically encourage reach and engagement please feel free to contact me.
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News Feed Publisher Guidelines
News Feed FYI: Fighting Engagement Bait on Facebook