Facebook now limiting reach of posts asking for engagement

In what seems to be part of a never-ending attempt to police what users do and do not see, Facebook has announced that it will begin punishing pages who publish posts asking you to like, share, or comment on them.

The social network says it sees this as “social spam” which must be eliminated in order to curate your newsfeed into more of a, well, news feed. However, many social media marketers say this is just another way that Facebook wants to limit your reach unless you pay for it. Either way, it’s happening, so learn the rules and try not to get sent to Facebook’s naughty corner.

The example Facebook gave us on the press release was the image below, which came from a page with just over 500 likes called, “when your teacher accidentally scrapes her nails on the chalkboard and you’re like whaaaaaat.” (Come on Facebook! Pick on someone your own size.)

Chris Turitzina product manager at Facebook, calls publishing posts like this is called “like-baiting.”

“Like-baiting is when a post explicitly asks News Feed readers to like, comment or share the post in order to get additional distribution beyond what the post would normally receive,” he said.

“The improvement we are making today better detects these stories and helps ensure that they are not shown more prominently in News Feed than more relevant stories from friends and other Pages. This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for Likes, Comments and Shares.”

It may be time to start developing an audience on other social networks with less rules.

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