Facebook Announces Major Overhaul To News Feed - Bad News For Pages

Facebook News Feed Overhaul
So I guess Facebook has, unwittingly, become our theme of the week month, though not without reason. Facebook marketing strategies are becoming a hot topic, as more and more businesses are wondering why their Facebook Pages are losing reach, while Facebook seems to be going stronger than ever with its advertisements. In a fresh wave of enhancements to the social network, Facebook has just announced a major overhaul to its news feed which aims to "reduce stories that people frequently tell us are spammy and that they don't want to see." Page admins, prepare to bear the brunt!
Although without any precise knowledge, we did have a rough idea as to how the Facebook news feed really works. Businesses have complained that Facebook doesn't let on much information about the dynamics of their EdgeRank algorithm. So this time, Facebook has generally pointed towards three key areas it is going to focus on to try and reduce the humongous amount of spam.

Like baiting

“Like-baiting” is when a post explicitly asks readers to like, comment or share a post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive.  A lot of pages use this strategy to grow their reach. Frankly speaking, I could do without such kind of posts, as they are both annoying and desperate at the same time. I am all in for this update against pages that use aggressive marketing techniques and clutter up my newsfeed. So page admins should now know better than to use such techniques.

An example of a 'spammy' post

This could, however, also impact on Businesses using a call-to-action to drive customers. We do not know how Facebook will detect these kind of posts, and whether it also applies to text within images. But it sure is a warning bell for such businesses.

Frequently circulated content

Stuff that is frequently circulated will be down-graded. This includes viral image and videos. Basically, this update will keep such content from appearing in your newsfeed twice. Simple enough takeaway for page admins from this update: create your own content, or don't create it all! Don't just circulate what you see out there.

Spam links

Sometimes stories use formatting to try and trick people into clicking through to a spammy website. These links even mislead people by linking to an page full of ads rather than what was originally claimed by the link. Facebook tries to detect spammy links by measuring how frequently people on Facebook who visit a link choose to like the original post or share that post with their friends.

Now keeping in mind the difficulties Google - the biggest search engine on the web - has to face when cutting down on spam, we don't believe what Facebook has built (or is trying to build) is a very fail-safe system. It all looks good on the theory, but practice is very different.

Facebook has this weird obsession against boring content - and perhaps it's for the good. But the definition of boring can be very subjective, and many brands have born the brunt in wake of all the confusion that has been aroused. Facebook claims that this update won't impact brand pages, but we've already spotted two major flaws. And given the milk-the-helpless-cow attitude of Facebook towards Businesses, we do not recommend investing further into Facebook unless you know what you're doing, and are confident that you can fight Facebook's algorithms.

What opinion do you have about this latest update? Let us know in the comments section below! Let the Facebook bashing begin :)

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