Did Facebook really just do this? You won’t believe what their changes mean for you.
Posted on August 26, 2014 by Danielle Faber
Did you just click on the headline for this post? Well, it may be one of the last times you get sucked into an article with a headline like that. You’ve seen these articles in your Facebook feed. The ones that entice you to click with a cliffhanger of a title but end up being a waste of your time. These are click-bait headlines and they’re exactly what Facebook is trying to eliminate from your timeline.
Facebook is cracking down on these posts that crowd our timelines and just aren’t relevant in our social realm. For years, Facebook has helped each of their users create a personalized space both automatically using behaviour tracking, and with the help of each user who picks and chooses who is allowed in their Facebook world. These click-bait headlines and the posts that accompany them don’t fit into Facebook’s end goal – becoming each user’s personalized front page to the internet. A pretty lofty goal if you ask me.
Facebook has finally taken steps to crack down on the spammy headlines that people don’t want to see. They’re making it harder for click-baiting headlines to move their way up to the top of your News Feed by measuring how much time users are spending away from Facebook after they click these links. If users return quickly, it’s shows that the post was not relevant (almost like a high bounce rate on your website can lead you to change your content). They are also taking the number of likes and comments on these posts into consideration to determine whether other users will be interested in clicking.
This is great for two parties involved: Facebook users and Facebook itself. Users will see more relevant content on their timeline, and in turn they will use Facebook more, which is great for Mark Zuckerberg’s traffic goals. But one party is getting cut out of the equation: the people who pay to be there. The marketers. Many of these viral posts begin as sponsored posts because Facebook told everyone that if they want their posts to get the maximum reach, they have to pay. Adding more stipulations to a network that already makes it very hard to disseminate content will continue to deter marketers from using Facebook – which started when they debuted sponsored posts in the first place. As a user, I’m excited to experience my new timeline but as a marketer I’m a little trepidatious to see what effect this has on my Facebook content.
All of this leads me to one final question: Is it still worth creating a Facebook community for a brand? Or is this just weeding out the click-bait marketers while rewarding the marketers who post legitimately interesting content?
Danielle is a Social Media Coordinator at 88 Creative. Follow her on Twitter at @DFabes .