In its continued efforts to clean up and optimize your News Feed, Facebook today announced plans to start penalizing pages that bait users into liking and sharing content. Facebook specifically pointed to three kinds of posts it plans to pull from user feeds: "Like-baiting" posts that ask users to like or share a spammy image; "Frequently Circulated Content," which ostensibly aims to scrub out "reposts," as a Redditor might call them, from the News Feed; and "Spammy Links," posts that use deceptive formatting to trick people into clicking. "For instance, often these stories claim to link to a photo album but instead take the viewer to a website with just ads," a Facebook blog post on the update reads.
"The vast majority of publishers on Facebook are not posting feed spam"
The ironic part is that many of the posts Facebook plans to scrub out became popular because users liked and shared them. In other words, it's in many cases the fault of users for promoting spammy content. While some might argue that the popularity of feed content should be up to the users, like on Reddit, that's never exactly how Facebook has operated. When spammy photos and too many invites from games appear inside more News Feeds, people engage less — even if those photos and invites were generated by your friends. Unfortunately for Facebook, people tend to blame Facebook for spam instead of the friends posting the actual spam — so the company is taking action.
"The vast majority of publishers on Facebook are not posting feed spam so they should not be negatively impacted by these changes, and, if anything, may see a very small increase in News Feed distribution," Facebook said, ostensibly in an effort to nip concerns from marketers and brands in the bud before they get too out of hand.